A Different War of the Austrian Succession...or....Finis Austriae (STORY ONLY. Discussion thread link provided)

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The island of Taiwan had largely been left alone during the period in which China had experienced first the Mongol invasion and occupation, then the Ming revival, and most recently the Manchu invasion. But as the Manchu consolidated their power across China, many who were loyal to the Ming began to consider evacuating to the island in order to gather their strength for the day they believed they would invade China and drive the Manchu back into the taiga from which they came. But while the Manchu eventually conquered the main island by 1683, the smaller islands remained in the hands of Ming loyalists under the Zheng dynasty. In that same period both the Spanish and Dutch had attempted to established settlements to further expand their colonial control and secure their trade-routes. Both efforts failed due to the native Taiwanese, but both nations still considered Taiwan to be vital to their interests. With the Fall of Amsterdam to the Spanish as part of the betrayal of William V by Charles IV and his general Castrillon, the Dutch were no longer capable of reasserting their influence. Charles IV determined to restore Spanish rule on the island as a means of securing their port of Manila and a way to expand their opportunities in both China and Japan.

The Ming-Zheng rulers of the smaller islands had been able to secure the coastal regions of the main island against the influx of Han Chinese immigration as a result of the Manchu conquests. Since then, they've attempted to stir up opposition to the Manchu. They initially approached the Spanish for a collaboration, but as the Spanish governor of Manila warned, it would only invite further Spanish interventions on the island and lead to their subjugation. They received weapons from the Spanish and offered vague promises of vassalage, but managed for a time to keep the Spanish at arm's length. Further south, thanks largely to intervention by the British Royal Navy's Pacific Fleet, the Dutch maintained their administration of the islands of Indonesia (East Indies or Spice Islands) against Spanish efforts to force integration into their colonial empire. As one of the last bastions of an independent Holland remaining, they now began to look for ways of challenging the Spanish. Their eyes turned once more toward the island of Taiwan. They began to retrofit their trading vessels into warships and secured the assistance of the Royal Navy based out of Singapore (this would be the first intervention of the British in the Spanish-Dutch conflict). At the same time, the Kingdom of Japan (made up of the southern daimyo aligned with the independent emperor, as opposed to the emperor appointed by the Mongols in Honshu and Hokkaido), began to take interest in Taiwan as a means of attacking the Mongols' Manchu allies and deprive them of assistance as a first-step in their plan to liberate the other islands. They, too, began a major shipbuilding effort with the plan to sail against Taiwan and at the same time challenge the Manchus at sea. Morihito (Emperor Kokaku) sent an emissary on 20 April 1798, Boujou Ariyoshi to request that Britain refrain from supporting the Dutch as in their campaign against Taiwan, they would also be seen as the enemy. Sir Charles Billingsley rejected the Japanese request.

On 8 May 1799 the Anglo-Dutch fleet sailed out of Jakarta and Singapore, meeting off the coast of the Sultanate of Brunei (which was neutral). The Spanish Pacific Fleet admiral Rodrigo García watched the Anglo-Dutch fleet's approach to Taiwan with growing alarm, as a Dutch landing on the island would threaten Manila directly. Further, the very existence of an independent Dutch colony was seen by Garcia as treason against Charles IV. Garcia readied his fleet of 20 ships (5 ships-of-the-line, 5 Caracks and 10 frigates) to sail to meet the fleet. At the same time, Garcia gathered 50 transport ships escorted by brigantines and made ready to sail for Taiwan in the hope of blocking Dutch efforts, pacify the Chinese and preventing the Japanese from landing their own troops. On the morning of the 11th the two fleets met. British commander Sir James Whitman ordered the British ships to form a line in order for them to give broadside fire. The Dutch ships swung around, forming a crescent. Garcia decided to take on the Dutch head-on. He ordered the fleet to sail straight for the Dutch and at 11:30 am the Spanish frigates opened fire as they drew near. As the two fleets closed, the British fleet positioned itself to sail behind the Spanish and open up their broadsides. Garcia, caught unprepared for the British movement, directed 2 ships-of-the-line and 2 Caracks to challenge the British. He received news from Manila that an additional fleet of 20 frigates and 10 ships-of-the-line had been sent to assist. Emboldened by the news, Garcia broke off the engagement and sailed southward to meet the fleet, losing 2 frigates and carrying a severely damaged ship-of-the-line with him. The rest of the Spanish fleet sailed some distance from the Dutch and Billingsley decided not to pursue, despite the demands from the Dutch to follow and blockade Manila. Billingsley knew the Spanish would return in force and after persuading the Dutch, resumed course for Taiwan. They dropped anchor off the southern coast on the evening of the 14th, where the Dutch landed sailors and a small number of troops to establish a forward base. On the western coastline, a large Manchu fleet of 200 Four-masted junks escorting 50 barges loaded with 85,000 troops arrived. Under the command of Yi Yijun, they established their own forward base in what is today modern Miaoli County (possibly Hsinchu). They sent an expedition south along the coast at roughly the same time the Dutch sent their expedition northward. They came into contact on the 16th and a skirmish erupted between them, in which 40 Dutch and 37 Manchu were killed. Alerted to the presence of the Europeans, Yijun sent his warfleet south to locate the Dutch base. Dutch admiral Martien Wagenvoorde learned of the skirmish and realized the Manchu would be seeking them out, so he ordered his flotilla to sail north and try to disperse the warfleet. As the first rays of the sun broke over the eastern horizon on the morning of the 18th, his cew laid eyes on the masts of the Chinese warfleet. Turning broadside against them and utilizing their superior range, they opened fire on the warfleet. 4 junks lost their masts and one was sunk when four cannonballs punched through the hull at water-level, but the Manchu responded by firing a series of specially-designed winged rocket which damaged two frigates and set a brigantine on fire. Yijun gave the order to advance on the Dutch and as they drew closer, their own cannon blazed almost continuously. Wagenwoorde now committed himself to battle with the Manchu at the very moment when, further south, Billingsley's fleet made contact with Garcia's reinforced Spanish fleet.

Billingsley arranged his fleet in the straight line, broadside formation. Garcia, seeing this, divided his fleet into two halves and ordered them to circle around the British formation and attack them from the stern, using their own broadsides. As the fleets manuevered in an attempt to gain advantage, a Spanish galleon suddenly broke formation due to a rudder malfunction. Taking advantage of this, Billingsley ordered HMS Lancaster to board the galleon HRMS Gonzalez. The resulting firefight lasted 20 minutes and cost the British 17 dead, and the Spanish 29 dead (but in the end, the Union Jack was raised on deck to show it was now under British control). Garcia, enraged by the British action, now commands that the captured galleon be sunk, but as the British secure their prize they also pull it away from the battle. Determined now on destroying the British fleet, Garcia flouts all naval strategy and orders a broadside-to-broadside engagement with the Royal Navy. Despite their ship sizes compared to the British, the Spanish fleet ultimately gets the worst of the exchange as the battle rages. By 3 pm, the battle could clearly be seen as a British victory, for although they had four ships heavily damaged (one de-masted) and one sunk, the Spanish suffered two ships captured, 7 ships heavily damaged (six had to be scuttled and the survivors taken aboard the British ships as POWs) and one sunk outright. At the moment the battle between the British and Spanish ended, the Dutch fleet, entered the area, trying to escape the Manchu warfleet which was following. Wagenwoorde traveled to Billingsley's flagship via rowboat and alerted the British admiral of Yi Yijun's fleet and their strength. At 6 pm, the Manchu warfleet arrived in force, and Yijun was startled to find a large European fleet waiting. Nonetheless, he ordered an immediate attack to take advantage of the fact that both the British and Spanish fleets had sustained damage and the Dutch were still demoralized after their last engagement. What Yijun failed to understand was that he was now facing two of the most powerful European navies on the seas. Billingsley brought his surviving ships, which were still many, and formed them up for battle. Garcia, having lost too many ships in his just-concluded battle with the British, was in no position to take on the Manchu warfleet and thus turned their sails for Manila. Wagenwoorde agreed to bring the Dutch fleet into formation with the British fleet and combined the two fleets would outmatch their Chinese opponent. During the night, rockets lit the sky above the fleets as each side attempted to intimidate the other into fleeing. By the morning of the 20th, after both fleets consulted among their captains, the British launched their offensive against the Manchu. Yijun was caught unprepared as British cannon raked his war-junks. He regrouped quickly and countered with a rocket attack which destroyed one British frigate and damaged two Dutch brigantines. But the British 'wooden wall' resisted the Manchu rocket attacks overall, and Yijun realized that he was outmatched. In desperation, he had ten junks abandoned then set alight and sent toward the Anglo-Dutch fleet in an effort to break up the formation and make it easier to focus on smaller groups. Billingsley witnessed the approach of the fireships and ordered the fleets to open spaces between them so the ships could pass.

Yi Yijun had not been prepared for the British counter and thus was unable to strengthen his own fleet before the first cannon shots from the Anglo-Dutch fleet. In the opening assault, the Manchus lost 112 war-junks While the counterattack did disrupt the Anglo-Dutch fleet and cost the British 4 ships-of-the-line and 2 Man o'Wars and the Dutch 2 brigantines, this could not offset the losses the Manchus lost. Billingsley ordered the fleet to close on the Manchu warfleet, going against the more cautious advice of Wagenwoorde, who sought instead to blockade the Manchu forward base on Taiwan. The fleets closed on each other and by 3 in the afternoon both fleets were exchanging broadsides. While the Manchu fleet still held a numerical advantage over their European opponents, the Anglo-Dutch fleet held the advantage in manueverability and firepower. In four hours of battle, the Manchu lost 53 warjunks sunk, 12 heavily damaged, and 23 captured by the Royal Navy. By contrast the British lost 11 ships sunk and 3 heavily damaged while the Dutch lost 2 sunk. Yijun, seeing that he had suffered a serious blow and could not last in a continued clash, ordered the surviving ships to turn sail and escape northward. Billingsley, seeing no honor in pursuing the Chinese when they still had a potential Spanish armada limping back to Manila to repair and likely receive reinforcements, simply allowed them to leave-much to the outrage of the suddenly more courageous Wagenwoorde. It was decided that the fleet would make what repairs they could before sailing south for Manila Bay. Yijun came within sight of the forward base only to discover that a Japanese (as opposed to Nipponese, which is used to designate the Mongol-ruled half of the islands of Japan). Admiral Kuroki Yutaka, a samurai and expert on naval tactics with a record of brilliant manuevers which while ultimately futile, did serve to temporarily stall the Mongol armada long enough for Japanese coastal defenses to be set up, led the fleet of 30 frigates (based on Russian designs which they received from spies in the Mongol-Nippon, who in turn had captured three Russian ships-of-the-line) and 20 turtleships taken in raids against Korea escorting 70 transport barges carrying 4,000 samurai. The transports had already begun landing their human cargo on the shores, where batteries and muskets could be seen firing in the distance, screened by the turtleships. Yijun, seeing a chance to redeem his honor after the very recent defeat at the hands of the Europeans gathered the ship captains for a council of war. Able to persuade the captains to launch an attack on the Japanese fleet. At 5 am on the morning of the 21st, Chinese rockets roared across the space between the two fleets and awoke Yutaka. Scrambling to the top deck, he ordered the ships to spread apart before returning fire. Yijun positioned the fleet in a linear formation and it looked as though the Chinese would get the victory they lost to the Europeans. But a fog rolled in, forcing Yijun to order his ships to drop anchor so as not to drift too close to their enemy. For six days the fog was so thick that neither side could see each other. Yijun finally gave the order to turn the fleet toward the west, where he knew the Chinese coast was located. His plan was to reoair the damaged ships and receive available reinforcements before returning to Taiwan where, it was hoped, he could crush the Japanese fleet once the fog dissipated. Initially, the torchlights of the Japanese navy were mistaken for reinforcements and Yijun sailed toward them expecting assistance, but when the fog finally began to clear on the morning of the 27th Yijun found to his horror that the Japanese fleet had surrounded his fleet. Hails of arrows from archers on deck began taking down those caught by surprise while musket fire tore into the ranks of the soldiers also on deck. In the three hours of battle, Yijun lost 16 ships captured while Yutaka lost only 7. In total, the Spanish lost 1/3 of their fleet in their bid to conquer Taiwan. The Manchu were denied control of he island and it was soon left to both the Japanese and Dutch to contest the island between them, despite attempts by Britain to moderate between them

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Phase II: Conclusion
By the year 1800, the major powers had seen a fundamental shift. Portugal, which had started this period of the Revolutionary Wars still more or less intact had by the end of the period been driven to seek refuge in the jungles of Brazil. Maria I, in taking the Portuguese crown with her, insured that Portugal survived, but even this was blunted by the creation of a rown uniting the coats-of-arms of Portugal and Spain for Charles IV. William V who had started the period with the hope of inheriting the grand ducal crown of Flanders by the end of the period was living in exile in London, his republic and the grand duchy he hoped to inherit firmly under the control of Spain. France, ruling over Wallonia, was now anxious about future Spanish plans, as Charles IV made no secret of his intention to liberate Wallonia as the final step in reasserting Spanish rule over the Low Countries. Both France and Britain were also anxious about Russian intentions in North America even as they prepared to negotiate with the Kingdom of America over their last North American possessions. By contrast, America was becoming a rising power in the western hemisphere, with only Russia and Spain as serious competitors. Already, due in no small part to American intervention in the form of arms shipments, both the Mayan Republic-under nominal American protection, and the newly created Tejas Republic had broken free of Spanish control and even began to challenge Spain.

In Central Europe and Italy, the shifts caused by the Revolutionary Powers had an equally unsettling effect. Austria, which had managed to bounce back from the Ten Years War, was now almost wholly swallowed by their Hungarian adversaries. Joseph I, King of Austria, now resided in exile in Bavaria (formerly Bahemia), which had itself been changed thanks to the machinations of the Saxon Wettin dynasty. Frederick August I, a mere elector as Augustus III at the beginning, now held the title King of Poland and Holy Roman Emperor. The other German states, such as Baden, Wurttemburg, Oldenburg and Hanover remained unsettled by the prospects of a renewed German War in the wake of the recent defeat of Prussia which saw Berlin conquered by the Saxons and Frederick William II reduced to the eastern territories around Konigsberg. Italy, though little changed from the Ten Years War, now struggled to rebuild the former Pan-Italian Defense League as Spain's influence and, in the case of Milan, Parma, Piacenza and Guastalla, power grows. Spain's former ally Sardinia-Piedmont now began to lean heavily on both the neutral Republic of Venice and France as a means of countering Spanish power. Naples, still aligned with the Hapsburg Kingdom of Austria at the beginning of the period, had at the end suffered the same fate as the Dutch and Portuguese in being forcibly reincorporated into the Spanish Empire.

Eastern Europe had seen the most seismic shifts during this phase of the Revolutionary period. Hungary had resurrected their medieval empire of Matthias Corvinus under the reign of Nikolaus I. In addition to the Serbian, Croatian and Dalmatian territories, they had also reconquered Burgenland, Lower Austria, Carinthia, Carniola and Vienna itself, reducing Hapsburg influence further and forcing the dynasty to take exile in Bavaria. Poland and Lithuania remained contested between the Wettin Emperor-King Frederick August I and King Adam Casimir Czartoryski. Adam Casimir maintained his rule over the Lithuanian half of the Commonwealth with the assistance of his Swedish ally, Gustav III. Frederick August I ruled in Warsaw, attaching Poland to Saxony in a form of personal union. Gustav III, by protecting both Adam Casimir and the Novgorodian grand duke Vasily I Dolgorukov, had become the most powerful constitutional monarch, and he faced down the authoritarian Tsar-Emperor Konstantin I Romanov. Konstantin I already held nearly all of the Grand Republic of Novgorod under Russian military occupation. Furthermore, with the conquest of Constantinople from the Ottomans and establishment of the puppet kingdom of Byzantium, Konstantin had gained control of the Straits and hence access to the Mediterranean. His armies had pushed deep into Mesopotamia and Persia, creating a second puppet-state, Sumeria and giving Russia ports that allowed the creation of an Indian Ocean fleet. Their armies had overrun Persia's Uzbek territories and was set to attack the Mongol Khaganate, in Asia.

In Africa and Asia, the two monumental events of this phase of the Revolutionary period were the expansion of the Mongol state into the khaganate with the acquisition of Manchuria from their Manchu ally and the conquest of 2/3 of Japan-with the resulting establishment of a Japanese puppet-emperor, and the transformation of the Order of the Knights of Malta into the Imperial Order of Malta. The Order had expanded along the North African coast as a means of deterring the activities of the Barbary corsair-emirs who had been raiding Christian commerce in the Mediterranean Basin. After a war in which even the Ottoman Empire became involved as the overlord of the Barbary emirs, the Order had conquered an area from Oran to Benghazi (they briefly even held Algiers). But as Spain consolidated its control in Iberia, and their members in the Order increasing, there is already a possibility that a Spanish grandmaster could assume the mantle by force. and use that mantle to further pursue the Spanish goal of taking the Reconquista all the way to the Holy Land. In southern Africa, the British Cape Colony now existed uneasily with a Dutch South Africa that was forcibly incorporated into the Greater Spanish Empire with the Fall of Amsterdam. While the British tried to provide asylum for the Dutch Boers who chose to flee rather than live in the now Spanish South Africa, Spain had also briefly seized control of Portuguese Mozambique before the territory fell to a massive Zulu invasion from Madagascar. At the same time, a cadet branch of the former ruling dynasty of Mutapa had emerged fom the vacuum left by the collapse of Portuguese power in southeastern Africa, becoming a vassal-state of the Zulu. In Asia, the Mongols had managed to reassert their separate existence in the late Ming period and formed a partnership with the Manchus who had already begun their conquest of China. Having expanded to Amuria and Sakhalin Island, then achieved the ultimate feat, one which eluded Kubilai Khan in the conquest of a substantial part of Japan, setting up a puppet-emperor and confining the Japanese to the southern 1/3 of Honshu Island, Shikoku Island and Kyushu Island. This had the effect of stirring the Japanese into a sense of unity, whereby the emperor and shogun now acted as two halves of the same office. With this newfound unity, the Japanese began to stretch out in the hopes of acquiring enough new territories to claim the resources needed to liberate the rest of the home islands from the Mongol yoke. The Taiwan War, in which the Manchu Chinese, Dutch, Spanish and Japanese clashed over who would control the island had finally came to a temporary halt with the Treaty of Canton between the Dutch, Manchu Chinese and Japan. The Manchu were forced to relocate their forward base to the western coastlne facing mainland China. The Dutch won control over the southern portion of the island while the Japanese conquered the northern part. A tiny neutral region in the interior of the island was left as a buffer between the three zones. Spain, which had intended to seize the island before the Dutch, were entirely left out and left smarting for revenge

In many cases, the seeds of the eventual Liberation Wars which would be the third and final phase of the Revolutionary Wars already existed either inside or close to the revolutionary states. For example, Alexander Romanov, Prince of Russia, lived in exile in Sweden. More liberal and peace-oriented than his brother the Tsar-Emperor, Alexander had already met with Gustav III of Sweden, Adam Casimir of (Poland) Lithuania, Vasily I of Novgorod and even the Ottoman sultan. William V, exiled in London, aimed at nothing less than his restoration to the stadholderate in the Dutch territories, even willing to forsake union with Flanders to achieve this objective. Joseph I had died in 1790 and his successor King Leopold I of Austria had established tentative contacts with both Louis XVI of France* and George III of Britain-Hanover and was on his way to forging alliances with Turkey, Lithuania, Sweden, Prussia and Sardinia-Piedmont. George II of America** was soon to feel compelled to draft a resolution requiring that in the event of his failure to sire an heir, a selected nobleman would assume the title of regent until a formal agreement could permit a new noble house to succeed to the Royal Crown. Though America did not operate under the so-called Lexica Salica or Salic Law forbidding females from succeeding to the throne, there was as yet no suitable female in consideration as Martha Washington, wife of George I (she refused to accept the title of queen) refused to be considered for the line of succession. The Stuarts, who had once ruled as kings first of Scotland, then of Great Britain until the Glorious Revolution of 1688 removed them from power, remained a threat even if that threat had been severely crippled during the Ten Years War by their faliure to capitalize on the Bourbon Invasion to seize London. With little to no prospect of regaining even the Crown of Scotland, they would begin casting about looking for other ways of attaining a royal crown. It was in southern Africa, however, that a monumental event would take place. Even as Shaka and his half-brother Dingane consolidated their control over the former Portuguese colony of Mozambique, Senzangakona was soon to die of poisoning, an assassination committed by iSangomas under the direction of his former prime miniter Mudhli so that displaced heir Sigujana could seize power before Shaka could intervene. In the midst of this change, the Kilwan colony on Madagascar became untenable as succeding Kilwan sultans lost interest in maintaining the distant colony in the face of Ethiopian and Russian interference. The rise of Shaka's Zulu Empire, the rebirth of the kingdom of Mutapa (albeit as a Zulu vassal) and the eclipse of Kilwan power would only later be viewed to be connected

The final phase of the Revolutionary Wars would introduce two new commanders to the world stage, individuals who, in another time might've been the greatest of rivals to one another. But here, they would form the most unbeatable, most lasting, and most respected partnership in history. They were Arthur Wellesley soon to be named the Duke of Wellington and an obsure Frenchman of Corsican birth, Napoleon Bonaparte. These two individuals, would help reshape the European geopolitical scene for decades to come. In America, General Andrew Jackson would rise to such fame that many would even try to make him the new king. In Austria, Clemens von Metternich would become the new star in diplomacy.

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The Beginning of the End
At the beginning of the 1800s, major territorial shifts had already occured, with the Revolutionary states either achieving their maximum extent or on the verge of doing so. Russia in 1800 had conquered nearly the entirety of the Grand Republic of Novgorod, with only the capital city still holding out against a Russian siege due to Swedish military assistance. They had expanded their borders to touch those of both the Manchu Empire of China and the Great Mongol Khaganate, and were already harassing the Mongol borders with a view toward eventual invasion. In the south, more than half of the Persian Empire was under Russian occupation, while their puppet-state of Sumeria held the Mesopotamian frontier against the Ottomans. They had achived their Great Dream of establishing (or rather reestablishing) the Byzantine state with their conquest of Constantinople, but with the Ottoman Sultan still claiming the title of Basileus from deep in the Anatolian heartland, pressure was building to finally settle accounts once and for all. Russian naval influence extended to the Arabian Sea and western Indian Ocean thanks largely to their puppet-state having access to the Persian Gulf.

Saxony had enlarged its territory with the conquest of Bohemia, Silesia, and Brandenburg, and they also owned the Imperial title. as well as the Crown of Poland (thru an enforced personal union). Frederick August I was fully aware, however, that the other German states, especially Hanover and Austria, remained determined to block any further efforts at Imperial reform which would consolidate the House of Wettin's Imperial rights. There was also the matter of the inclusion (under Spanish rule) of the Low Countries and the tensions with both France and Great Britain. Though they had pushed Prussia all the way back to Konigsberg, where the Russians kept them constantly guessing as to whether House Hohenzollern would be removed from power permanently, there was the fact that Russia was equally distracted by its wars in the south, the siege of Novgorod, the potential for war with China and Mongolia, and lastly, reawakened ambitions to expand their Alyeskan territories further south into North America. The likelihood that Prussia would attempt to regain the lands lost to them concerned the Emperor-King.

Hungary had achieved its long-sought dream of restoring the old empire of Matthias Corvinus with the conquests of Burgenland, Lower Austria, Carinthia, Carniola, Styria and Vienna, in addition to their Dalmatian and western Balkan territories. Though they were content to leave a portion of the eastern Balkans to the Ottomans to serve as a buffer against future Russian expansion, they remained eager to further expand their rule elsewhere. They were already applying pressure on the Republic of Venice to cede Istria and Friuli, which was one of the prompts for Venice attempting to revive the moribund Pan-Italian Defense League as a means of countering the threats not only from Hungary but also Spain.

Spain had integrated the Low Countries within the shield of Imperial jurisdiction into their Greater Empire as they had done with Portugal. Charles IV was already sending Spanish officials, backed by the full might of Spanish tercios, to the formerly Portuguese and Dutch colonies around the world with the intent of imposing Spanish rule over these last bastions of their formerly independent motherlands. Though they were unable to impose their rule over the Cape Verde Islands, the Azores, or Tenerife, they had managed to claim the Portuguese colonies of Angola and Mozambique (though they almost immdiately lost Mozambique to the Zulus under Prince Shaka). It would be Dutch Suid-Afrika, however, where the Spanish would run into both a Dutch insurgency and a combined British and Zulu invasion. Through their naval defeat by an Anglo-Dutch navy near Taiwan, their position in Manila had become exposed and they lost their chance to claim Taiwan for themselves. In the Americas, the continuing shame of their losses in Yucatan and the Lake Maracaibo region fueled Spanish efforts to pacify and conquer them in the face of strong American opposition. The recent independence of Tejas added another dimension and only served as a further mark of shame on the Spanish Bourbons.

Part One: The Dresden Pact
As a result of their joint conquest of the Low Countries, Charles IV and Frederick August I already shared amicable relations. The Emperor supported Charles IV's dream of integrating Wallonia into the Low Countries and thus restoring the old Burgundian inheritance which the Hapsburgs had once ruled, now under a Bourbon dynasty. In turn, Charles IV supported the Emperor's efforts both in relation to the Empire as a whole, and Poland. However, as the news of the naval defeat in the South China Sea finally reached Madrid, Charles IV now became concerned at the prospects of Britain intervening in Iberia. After all, Ceuta was a British bastion just across from Gibraltar (which the British had briefly owned) and could easily sway Morocco into aligning against Spain. Further, thanks to their alliance with France, Britain had a partner in western Europe that could also invade at any moment. For his part, Emperor Frederick August I had tried to maintain the French support which had enabled Saxony to begin its journey toward Imperial recognition, but as Emperor, he was also bound to take any measures necessary to restore the regions of Alsace and Lorraine to German rule. Further, the dynastic union between Hanover and Great Britain posed a second threat to his hopes of consolidating his hold on the Imperial title. On 9 August 1800, roughly two months after their defeat in the South China Sea, Charles IV traveled by sea to Malta, and from there to Fiume in Hungary to meet with Frederick August I. Preliminary discussions led to an agreement to meet in Dresden in the following month. On 9 September, with King Nikolaus I of Hungary, they agreed to form the Dresden Pact. Its terms were as follows:
1) Each Pact member would offer assistance to be determined to any fellow Pact member who came under attack from a third party
2) Each Pact member would open free trade with other Pact members and guarantee each member's current and future boundaries
3) Each Pact member agreed not to open separate peace talks with any nation they're at war with. Any discussions of peace would be conducted with the entirety of the Pact
4) The terms of the Pact Treaty would remain in force and any changes made would be done only after consultation with other Pact members.
It was hoped that the Pact would provide a measure of safety for each member and make it less likely that their neighbors would feel compelled to respond, clearing the way for further future aggression. Though this pact bound the three signatories to support one another, there was the obvious discrepancy in terms of power. Of the three members of the Pact, Spain wielded the most power in terms of the fact it ruled a large empire and was adding more lands to that empire. Despite his hold of the Imperial title, Frederick August I felt more like a minor power compared with Hungary and especially Spain. There was only one solution at hand for the Emperor-King.

On 2 October, almost a month after signing the Dresden Pact, Frederick August I traveled to the camp of Tsar-Emperor Konstantin I outside the siege-lines around Novgorod. Here, he found the Tsar of All the Russias focused on claiming the final prize and restoring the Russian Empire to its former glory. As the two monarchs talked, they discovered that they shared a common problem in the fact that Adam Casimir I still held the royal title to Poland (despite the Emperor holding the actual Crown of Poland) and still ruled Lithuania under Swedish protection. It was decided that Sweden would have to be neutralized or (preferably) annexed by Russia if the final conquest of Lithuania could be achieved. A draft proposal was agreed between them which evolved into the Treaty of Moscow. The main issue was Lithuania, which was coveted by Konstantin as the last piece of the old Kievan heritage which remained elusive (after Novgorod). Further, Konstantin dreamed of reviving a Bulgarian state which would serve as both a buffer-state and a conduit for Russia and Hungary and a means of shielding Russia's Byzantine puppet-kingdom from western influences. Frederick August I was willing to put the proposal to the Pact as it would involve the Hungarians. Finally, on 13 October, the draft document was sent to Moscow, and Konstantin's ministers were strong-armed into pushing it through the Duma for ratification. The terms of the final treaty were as follows:
1) The Holy Roman Empire would lend an army of 5,000 to the Russian siege of Novgorod as well as future military actions against Lithuania and Sweden
2) A recognition of Imperial titles between Frederick August I "Tsar-Emperor of Germany" and Konstantin I "Tsar of All Russia"
3) Russian recognition of Frederick August I's royal rights in Poland in exchange for recognition of Konstantin's ducal rights in Lithuania
4) Freedom of commerce between the HRE, Saxony-Poland and Russia-Lithuania
5) A Final Decision as to the future status of Konigsberg and the continued independence of the House of Prussia in the territory remaining to them
6) Guarantee of current boundaries and ratification of future boundary adjustments.
The Treaty of Moscow was brought before the Pact meeting in Leipzig on 3 November and enfolded into the Dresden Treaty, which in effect now brought Russia into the Pact. King Nikolaus I of Hungary met the Russian representative of Konstantin in Constantinople the following week. Lev Timofeyevich had been given authority on behalf of Tsar-Emperor Konstantin to discuss proposals (though Konstantin reserved the right to act as final arbiter on decisions of import). Throughout the latter part of November and into December, Timofeyevich and King Nikolaus I discussed the fate of the Ottoman Empire, possible plans for Poland-Lithuania, Hungarian entry into the Mediterranean Basin and guarantees against a possible Saxon 'Reichesexekution' against Hungary due to their possession of Vienna. By Christmas Eve, the two negotiators finally had the draft for the Treaty of Constantinople ready to be signed. Nikolaus I signed immediately, though it would take a few days for Konstantin I to affix his signature. Nonetheless, the terms of the treaty guaranteed that when the final phase of war began, there would be few left untouched by it:
1) Recognition by Hungary of the personal union of Byzantium and Russia under Konstantin I's rule
2) Recognition by Konstantin I of the special rights of Hungary in the western Balkans and Austria
3) Negotiations to precede a final solution to the Ottoman Empire.
4) Freedom of commerce for Russian ships in the Adriatic Sea; similar rights for Hungarian ships in the Bosporus Straits and Black Sea.
The treaty was signed by Konstantin I on 29 December.

There were signs that the Pact would be more fragile than expected. While Saxony-Poland-HRE, Hungary and Russia had established among them, Spain only had a treaty with the Holy Roman Empire (and Saxony-Poland as well). They had not deigned to seek negotiations with Russia mostly due to the Spanish view of Russia as "a backwater province filled with heretics and infidels". Russia, for its part, saw Spain as a nation of "idolatrous usurpers of the True Faith". Their only common ground was in how Islam should be defeated in a great crusade. Their common enemy and representative of Islam was the Ottoman Empire. It was only on 4 January 1801 that representatives of Spain and Russia met in Palermo, Sicily and agreed to a treaty in which the interests of the two 'anchor powers' was delineated. In the Treaty of Palermo:
1) The western Mediterranean Basin from the Strait of Gibraltar to the heel of the Italian boot was to be considered a Spanish zone of influence, while the basin east of that line was considered to be under Russian influence. While this resolved the main question in theory, there were the two other naval powers to consider. Hungary and the Imperial Order of Malta. Hungary's conquest of Dalmatia had offered them naval access and as part of their larger agreement over the future of the Balkans, it was agreed that Russia would have access to the Adriatic in exchange for Hungary having access to the Bosporus Straits and the Black Sea. There was no such agreement with regard to Spain here. In later years, historians would cite the lack of a smiliar naval agreement between Spain and Hungary as the reason that Spain ultimately collapsed as a Mediterranean power. Inevitably, Spain would have to take account of Hungarian naval power whenever their navy entered the eastern Mediterranean. The wild card, as it turned out, would be the Imperial Order of Malta.

Malta says No
In the years since the Malta-Barbary War in which the Barbary pashas were neutralized and their ports conquered, the Imperial Order of the Knights of Malta (also known as the Imperial Order of Malta, IOM or simply the Order) had managed to reach a modus vivendi with the Barbary pashas and their overlord the Ottoman Empire. This had allowed the Imperial Order to transform itself from a collection of knight-brothers who were in essence relics of the Middle Ages and the Age of Crusading, into a formidable imperial power albeit still tied to that crusaing past. A new Emperor-Grand Master, Oliver Marmara, created a Grand Council comprised of the most prominent knight-brothers who as prerequisites had to be members of the Order of Malta (Knights Hospitalers). Evangelization on the heels of the conquests brought about the need for a second-tier legislative assembly for the new converts, called the Forum. Marmara continued the policy of accepting members into the Order from non-Catholic countries, which allowed a substantial Eastern Orthodox influx from the Balkans and Russia. This now meant that there were as many Orthodox members as Catholic. Newly converted Berbers, Turks and Arabs were also allowed membership in the order after a three-year 'probation' period to assure that they were not secretly still practicing Islam. A new form of Maltese Christianity-which while still Catholic now blended elements of Protestant, Orthodox and even Arabic ideals allowed for greater evangelization. While the Order had not abandoned their cherished dream of reconquering Rhodes (from which they had been expelled by Suleiman the Magnificent in the 1500s) and returning to the Holy Land, they had by now entered into a new relationship with their infidel archrival. Trade treaties between Malta and the Ottoman Empire established shortly after the conclusion of the war allowed both powers to turn their energies elsewhere. The Order had begun building trade-posts in Senegal and Sao Tome, and even looked to acquire the islands of Trinidad and Tobago, though they ultimately settled for Aruba. Increasingly, they began to take measure of the rising naval power of Spain and look for a counter to Spanish power. Increased shipbuilding allowed the Order to consolidate their control of the immediate coastline of North Africa and the seas around Malta itself. Thus it came as no surprise when a Spanish emissary, Juan Soldado arrived in Valleta with a proposal to include the Order as a member of the Dresden Pact and offering major military assistance with the reconquest of Rhodes and the Holy Land. Marmara and Soldado reviewed both the land forces of the Order and the newly expanded navy, attended a play in Carthage and toured the ramparts from where the Maltese had defeated the Turkish attack of the late 1500s in the three weeks of Soldado's visit to the island. This allowed Marmara the time to decide his next move, and take into account the current situation in both Europe and the Middle East. Though like the rest of the Order, he had no love of the Turk thanks to the aforementioned attack, he was fully conscious of the fact that the Turks-for all their pronouncements of making Rome the new seat of the Caliphate were now an integral part of the balance-of-power. Needing only to be kept in check, the Ottomans were as vital a component of the European states system as France or Austria. He saw the danger in allowing both Spain and Russia (and to a lesser degree Hungary) to carve up the Ottoman Empire and end the sultanate. With Soldado's time in Malta coming to an end, and his patience running out, he demanded a reply to the Spanish proposal. Marmara rejected the proposal. In his statement rejecting the invitation, as later recounted by an eyewitness:
"[Grand Master Marmara] looked down on the Spaniard with nothing but quiet contempt. He then put the final exclamation point on his rejection by saying that while he appreciated the invitation to join, he would not allow the Spanish or Russians to dictate how he chose to conduct relations with the Ottoman Porte. The Order would make its own choice on how to combat the Turk, when, where and in what manner."
Soldado was fuming, but as he had no further instruction from his liege, made haste to return to Spain. When word of the rejection spread among the Spoanish knight-brothers, it was all Marmara could do to prevent a full-scale insurrection, ultimately calling in those Berber converts who had donned the knight-armor to quell the insurrection. Brief imprisonment for the lesser offenders and complete expulsion from the Order for the ringleaders followed. Marmara even took the precaution of imposing limits on applicants from Spain into the Order. For their part, the Russian knight-brothers, while equally infuriated by the decision, made no move to protest as they were only associated with the Pact thru its treaties with Saxony-Poland-HRE and Hungary. For Charles IV, the sting of the Maltese rejection was so severe he contemplated invading Malta in force, but as his attentions were increasingly being diverted both west in the Americas and to the Far East with the likely Dutch attack (aided by Britain) on Manila, he could only gnash his teeth in disgust.

Part Two: The Birth of the Alliance of Brussels
With the temporary end of the South China Sea conflict between the Dutch and Spanish navies, increasing tension in the Middle East as Ankara (temporary capital of the Ottoman Empire) faced a likely Russian invasion, Spanish designs in Africa-where Angola had already been integrated into their empire and Dutch Suid-Afrika likely to follow suit, Spanish ambitions in the Americas, and Saxony's future plans for both Germany and Poland, it became increasingly obvious that the two guarantors of western Europe, Britain and France, would have to start planning for the outbreak of war. Both nations had mostly restrained themselves from large-scale fighting, with only Britain lending any amount of military assistance to the Dutch, Maracaibans and Portuguese. France, for its part, had militarized Wallonia in the expectation of a coming Spanish invasion, but was also nervously watching events in the Holy Roman Empire and the Wettins' plans on transforming the 300+ states into a single unitary empire capable of expanding in all directions. Compounding these was the growth of Spanish military power and influence in Italy and the desire of Charles IV to reclaim Cerdagne and Roussillon. Versailles had watched in horror as their one-time archrival Austria was nearly swallowed whole by the Hungarians, and their chief allies Poland and Turkey come under increasing attack by their respective neighbors (Saxony and Russia in the case of Poland, Hungary and Russia in the case of Turkey). Sweden was receiving subsidies from both Versailles and London in order to help them prop up Novgorod and Lithuania, but it was clear that sooner or later the Swedish economy would crumble under both the economic and military weight of keeping both nations afloat in their resistance to the Russian tide. In addition, Prussia had been reduced to their eastern lands around Konigsberg and it was only a matter of time before both Saxony-Poland and Russia put an end to the Hohenzollerns once and for all. Both Britain and France still had colonies in North America, remnants of larger colonial empires being protected more by the new Kingdom of America than their own militias. They were increasingly compelled to simply cede their last holdings to America so they could focus on empire-building in other regions of the world (they had already agreed to jointly share India and keep the restive Mughals and Marathas in check). In addition, the Stadholder of the Dutch Republic, William V, remained in exile in London after disgracing himself by playing into the hands of both Charles IV of Spain and Emperor Frederick August I.

France under Louis XVI had already begun constructing a series of fortifications in Wallonia in the expectation of a Spanish invasion from Flanders. These fortifications were paid in large part through a combination of British subsidies and French taxes. A three-layer system was designed for the purpose, with the first layer comprising a series of wooden stakes to slow cavalry charges, trenches and ditches to slow infantry advances and a series of redoubts from which French infantry and mortars could fire down on any advancing Spanish force. The second layer consisted of more wood stakes, redoubts, two bastions and the city of Brussels-which was heavily fortified. A final third layer of defense consisting of trenches and stakes extended from Dunkirk to the heavily wooded Ardennes region, taking advantage of the terrain. Further south on the Franco-Spanish border and along the Pyrenees Range, a series of towers and bastions blocked access through the passes, with the result that any Spanish invasion from there would be channeled along the coastlands on either end of the range, and leave them open to French and British naval bombardment. In addition, Louis XVI had assigned an army of 65,000 under General Pichegru* and a secondary army of 50,000 under General Hoche** deeper inside France, near Lyons. A small British expeditionary army of 40,000 under the command of former commander in America Cornwallis kept watch in Brittany to prevent a diversionary Spanish landing there. At the same time as the three-tier defense of Wallonia was underway, the new French foreign minister, Talleyrand***-using a combination of guile and British gold, convinced the archbishoprics of Cologne, Mainz, Trier and Liege to form a defensive alliance backed by Britain and France. This Rhineland Federation was joined by the Free City of Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle) and Hanover (at the insistence of Britain).

On 10 October, the day after the announcement of the Dresden Pact, Talleyrand, Lord Castlereigh**** representing Britain and Hanover and William V representing the Dutch Republic, met in Brussels to survey the fortifications around the city and to negotiate an answer to the Pact. A primary sticking-point between Talleyrand and William V was the future of Flanders. Talleyrand suggested that the Grand Duchy could be restored in a personal union with France, allowing the French Crown to control foreign policy but leaving civic administration in the hands of the Flemmings and guaranteed by an Anglo-French convention. William V was adamant about restoring his claim to the grand duchy, making clear that he was still titular holder of the ducal crown and title despite the Spanish about-face. Castlerreigh, while willing to accept a restoration of the Grand Duchy to sovereignty, was reluctant to unite them either with the Dutch or French. It took little time to convince his French opposite to drop the proposal for union with France and both were determined to keep Flanders out of Dutch hands given how easily the Spanish and Imperials had exploited the union to drive the Stadholder out. When William V dug in and fought off efforts to persuade him to renounce his claim, Castlereigh simply threatened to end naval and economic cooperation and in effect leave the Dutch to face the wrath of Spain in the Far East alone. Cowed by this threat and with no option left to him, William V finally dropped his claim to Flanders and the Brussels Treaty was duly signed on 11 November. Its terms were a follows:
1) The Grand Duchy of Flanders would be restored under a native Flemish house
2) The Dutch Republic would be restored to William V as Stadholder and his House would become hereditary stadholder
3) Britain and France would guarantee the borders of the members of the Rhineland Federation against Frederick August I, including military intervention if such is required.
4) Each nation would go to the defense of the other if attacked by a third party, including but not limited to Spain, Saxony, or Russia (Hungary was hardly considered)
5) Combined revenue from commerce would be used to help reduce the cost of maintenance of each other's armies (this would allow the French to keep their armies paid without raising taxes and potentially provoking protests)
For a year, the Brussels Treaty would be the basis of the alliance system rising to counter the Dresden Pact. But news of the treaty had already piqued the interest of other powers who had suffered from the Revolutionary armies of the Pact, such as Portugal and Austria.

The League of Vienna
Francis II, king of Austria celebrated his coronation in the Bavarian capital of Munich as the Hapsburg capital, Vienna, was under Hungarian rule. He had succeeded Leopold as king after the latter's death in 1792. Carl Theodore of Bavaria had been gracious in supporting the exiled Hapsburgs even as his own kingdom nursed its own wounds inflicted by the Saxons thanks to the loss to them of Bohemia. Both Austria and Bavaria had begun negotiations for a formal anti-Saxon alliance which culminated in the Treaty of Munich on 20 September. Throughout the rest of 1800 and into the first weeks of 1801, both states began to reach out to other neighbors in the hope of expanding the alliance. The Pope was added to the alliance on 10 January, though he made clear that because of the Spanish presence in Parma and Piacenza, he could do little more than offer subsidies to the alliance allowing them to hire Papal forces through a third party. This would ultimately be the Republic of Venice, as they felt compelled to join the alliance out of fear of encirclement, caught as they were between Spanish-ruled Milan and Parma and Hungarian Carinthia. King Nikolaus had recently made a demand for the cession of Istria to Hungary, which the Venetians refused. As a result, Venice began constructing fortifications on both land and sea in anticipation of an eventual clash with Hungary. The Doge made one final attempt to reach an understanding with King Nikolaus, but as the king remained unmoving in his demand for Istria, there was no hope. The Doge thereafter turned to the King of Sardinia-Piedmont, Charles Emmanuel IV***** and in the Convention of Verona signed on 17 January Venice and Piedmont agreed to provide mutual economic, military, and naval assistance in the event of an attack by a third party. Exiled King Ferdinand IV of Naples (III of Sicily) was invited by the Venetians to join the Convention, but due to long-running disputes over Venetian rights in the Ionian Sea, Ferdinand IV initially refused to consider. It was here that Francis I of Austria now stepped in to mediate and in the Treaty of Salerno (24 January) Venice and Naples agreed to settle the dispute mutually, granting Venetian merchant ships access to the Ionian Sea in exchange for Naples having reciprocal privileges in the Adriatic.

Adam Casimir I had begun placing greater responsibility for managing the Lithuanian half of the Commonwealth of Poland-Lithuania to his son Adam (Jerzy) Czartoryski after 1799 as his age and the stresses of the constant state of near-war with Saxony had begun to take their toll on him. As 1800 transitioned into 1801, however, Konstanti (Constantine) Adam******* began to replace his younger brother. At the same time a long-thought forgotten member of the former ruling dynasty of Poland, Wladyslaw Sobieski rose to the ranks in the Commonwealth military after repelling no less than 6 Russian raids and 17 Saxon raids into the grand duchy. Impressed by his military record and further convinced by his charisma of his potential future as king, Gustav III of Sweden worked to persuade Jerzy to use the power vested in him by his father to block Konstantu from the succession in favor of Sobieski. Konstanti met with Adam Casimir, who told him that while he was grateful that his young son was showing interest in politics, that it was necessary to have a military leader with a royal pedigree to lead the Polish people. He urged Jerzy to reach agreement with Wladyslaw and in what became known as the Pacta Vilna the following condition was set down and agreed:
"Should the first party fail to find a suitable bride and sire an heir, then upon his death, the second party (Sobieski) shall inherit the titles of Crown Hetman of Poland and Ruthenia and Grand Duke of Lithuania. These titles shall be made official upon the abdication of the current reigning king-hetman."
Adam Casimir abdicated on 26 February 1801. Jerzy was appointed Regent of Lithuania by the Sejm, with Sobieski as the successor to Adam Casimir.. On 4 March, a delegation from Austria arrived in Vilnius led by Count Thugut********, meeting with both Jerzy Czartoryski and Wladyslaw Sobieski. The main topics were the recovery of the Polish Crown and the reconquest by Poland of Galicia, which had been awarded to Hungary after Frederick August I had seized the Polish throne. Thugut pledged to allocate 4,000 troops for the purpose of restoring Galicia to Poland and in exchange both Czartoryski and Sobieski pledged to assist Austria against Hungary. With these two objectives outlined and additional agreements reached, the Treaty of Vilnius was duly signed on 4 March. This now brought the Commonwealth into the League of Vienna, but more importantly, it made the Commonwealth into the bridge by which the Brussels Treaty group and the League of Vienna would come together in a new grand alliance.

For the Ottoman Empire, the formation of the League of Vienna offered a potential means by which they could finally overcome the Russian and Hungarian dual menace. Selim III had been isolated from his Persian ally by the establishment of the Russian client-state of Sumeria. Further, their Kilwan ally was disintegrating into a group of rival principalities under petty chieftains, and leaving their Madagascan territories open to Zulu or even Russian ambitions. Their other vassal, Oman, struggled to maintain their naval power in the face of Russian attrition. The one consolation the Sultan could derive in his predicament was the fact that the Imperial Order of Malta had not only rejected Spanish efforts to join the Dresden Pact, but had even reaffirmed their nonbelligerent status with a treaty guaranteeing free trade and mutually recognized frontiers. While Hungary had ceased in major military operations, Magyar raids kept the Turkish garrisons in Bulgaria, Macedonia and Thessaly constantly on alert. Selim III was desperate to find new allies against Russia especially as in August 1800 a Russian raid into eastern Anatolia razed Serres to the ground, causing such alarm that refugees began to flood Ankara. His chief foreign adviser, Omer Koshe Bey, was sent to Lithuania to meet with Sobieski, arriving on 12 March. The two men spent four weeks discussing women, finances and military organization before finally entering into negotiations over how to crush Russia. They traveled to Riga at the insistence of Sobieski so that Gustav III could be included. The end result of this meeting was the Treaty of Riga signed between the Ottoman Empire, Poland-Lithuania, Sweden, and Vasily I of Novgorod. Its terms were as follows:
1) Poland-Lithuania and the Ottoman Empire would form a military alliance against Russia, pledging to assist each other.
2) Sweden and Poland-Lithuania would form a military alliance for the purpose of defense against Russia and pledged to send assistance to Novgorod.
3) Sweden and the Ottoman Empire would form a mutual assistance agreement directed against Russia and aimed at preserving both the Commonwealth and Prussia.
4) Vasily I would raise a new and grand army for the liberation of the city of Novgorod, with subsidies from both Sweden and the Ottoman Empire.
Though the Russians were committed to the Middle Eastern theaters and would soon engage against Manchu China and the Mongol Khaganate, they remained formidable as they pressed their siege of Novgorod. Gustav III agreed to raise an army of 75,000 troops to attackTver. but the winter weather and slow logistics would delay the attack for some time to come.

The Grand Alliance
It was becoming clear that Europe was dividing into armed camps. Between the two protagonist alliances and the Dresden Pact, few European states remained neutral-with the exception of the Imperial Order of Malta. Portugal was brought into the Brussels Treaty due to French diplomacy, British subsidies, and a desire to liberate their kingdom from Spanish absolutism. They had already lost Angola (and in addition their ally the Kongo Kingdom) to Spanish governors, and Mozambique to first the Spanish and immediately afterwards to the Zulu. They had avoided economic collapse only due to both their main Brazilian colony and trade-stations in India and Macao, China (protected by the British Royal Navy based in Singapore). The Imperial Order of Malta declared itself neutral, though a secret agreement with Louis XVI provided an easy way for Malta to join the Brussels Treaty if threatened by Charles IV. It soon became clear, however, that the two alliances had a common enemy in the Dresden Pact. Wladyslaw Sobieski would bring the two alliances together by reaching out to Louis XVI of France, signing a subsidy treaty on 14 April, in which France pledged 40 million livres to Poland to help build an army. Poland pledged to assist France against the Holy Roman Empire-even though it meant France would risk its age-old alliance with Saxony. Six days later, Britain also signed a treaty with Poland pledging the assistance of the Royal Navy. These two treaties were followed on 6 May with treaties between France and Britain on one side and Austria, Bavaria, Prussia and the Ottoman Empire on the other. These treaties gave birth to what would later be known as the Grand Alliance of 1800.

A major meeting of the plenipotentiaries to the Grand Alliance met at Fontainebleu, near Paris though the summer of 1801 for the purpose of considering priority theaters of conflict. It was agreed that extra-European theaters would take second-place to the main conflicts and could even be determined by the European conflicts. It would take another two months, however, before an outline would be formulated and in the meantime, the inexorable march of the Revolutionary forces would continue. Several events would happen which would put all the final pieces into place.

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Preamble to a Tragedy
READERS NOTE: This large post will be broken down into five parts which will set the stage for the final round in the Revolutionary Wars. The four parts will detail-in no real order-the Russian Siege of Ankara, the Russo-Mongol War, the Russian Siege of Novgorod, the Zulu Civil War (this war will install Shaka as king and enable him to promote himself to King of Kings or Kosi AmaKosi which could also be translated as emperor, and the First Spanish-American War. Happy reading!

The Siege of Ankara

In mid-July of 1801, as the various European nations were meeting in Paris to outline their offensive and defensive plans, Selim III, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire had been fighting a war against Russia since their initial invasion of the eastern Balkans in the 1790s. The Turks had already been driven from Constantinople and Baghdad by the time he assumed the throne, and with no allies to stand with his empire against the combined Russian and Hungarian onslaught, it was all he could do to retain control even over the areas not directly close to the frontlines. It had only been the treaty with the Order of Malta-now the Imperial Order of Malta, that saved his rule over Northern Africa even at the cost of major coastal cities such as Benghazi, Algiers and Tunis. Hungary had stopped their advance only after they inflicted a defeat on the Turkish garrison trying to hold Athens, then pulled out of Greece altogether, leaving an uncertain Turkish administration in Bulgaria and Macedonia between the Hungarian and Russian empires. Their former rival-turned-ally Persia had been forced to yield the former Uzbek cities of Bukhara, Merv, and Samarkand to Russia, and forced to accept the creation of Sumeria. With their Persian front closed, the Russians could transfer their forces to the Caucasus and Bosporus fronts against the Turks.

General Matvey Anatolievich commanded an army of 350,000 Russian, Sumerian (consisting of Kurdish, Assyrian, and Iraqi Shi'ite) and Cossack troops stationed in Tbilisi, in Armenia. His was the army responsible for raiding Erzurum, Antioch, Serres, and Icel. It was these successful raids that earned him the name Anatolievich* and garnered him a large following even in the Imperial Court. But this popularity had a dark side as well, for Anatolievich had begun to attrach the attention of the Golitsyn family, one of the most powerful in Russia, and it was this family who shaped the military policies of Tsar-Emperor Konstantin**. Anatolievich was already being courted by the Golitsyn as a potential husband for their daughters, which would put him in a position to rival the Tsar-Emperor and potentially even challenge him for the Russian throne. Konstantin I, fully awake to the threat this represented and above all else eager to bring the Ottoman Empire to an end once and for all, now placed that task on Anatolievich. Sending additional Circassian and Mingrelian irregulars south to join his army (bringing the total to 650,000 total), he issued the directive to Anatolievich to take Ankara at any cost and place the Sultan in irons, to be brought to Novgorod to witness the siege there and face the Tsar-Emperor before his execution. An additional army of 220,000 conscripted from the puppet-kingdom of Byzantium would be held in reserve not only to prevent a possible Turkish diversionary offensive but also prevent the Sultan's escape (having been foiled in the capture of him during the Conquest of Constantinople a decade earlier). Meanwhile, the Russian ambassador in Madrid now urged Charles IV to attack Turkish North Africa and persuade the Imperial Order of Malta again to join the Dresden Pact. Charles IV, however, had concerns in Spanish America and southern Africa and already had his own plans to invade Wallonia, thus could offer no assistance. Nor did the Imperial Order of Malta move from its neutral position despite Russian promises to restore Rhodes and the Holy Land to Maltese rule.

By late August, Anatolievich had gathered sufficient supplies, munitions, and manpower with the arrival of the Circassian and Mingrelian irregulars to begin his offensive. On the Turkish side, Selim III found that he had lost his best generals either in combat or due to old age. He would have to appoint new commanders if he was to have a chance at stopping the Russian advance. He soon found one in a 27-year-old former Ukrainian house-slave who had studied the military tactics of Suleiman the Magnificent, Frederick the Great, General Turenne, and even Peter the Great. His name was Bohdan Vasylovych Kosenko, but his name was Turkisized as Bogdan Kosenko and he would be appointed pasha as Bogdan Pasha. Selim III soon learned that Bogdan's family had been brutalized under the Russians when they had invaded the Ukrainian hetmanate as part of the War of the Holy League, then found themselves captured as slaves by the Crimean Tartars. Selim III ordered that any surviving family members be located and brought to Ankara where they would be allowed to live as free people exempt from the jizya or religious poll tax normally imposed on non-Muslims. This had the effect of assuring the loyalty of Bogdan Pasha. Selim III offered him some 40,000 gold ducats with the command to recruit troops to serve as the defending force in the coming siege. Within two weeks, Bogdan Pasha had recruited some 75,000 soldiers, students, farmers and even criminals. Bogdan Pasha was quick to point out that this force, though impressive, was still outnumbered by the Russian colossus and that at best they would hold be able to hold off the Russians for up to a month. Selim was counting on this as the autumn on the Anatolian plateau often proved unpredictable with shifts of temperature as well as sudden snow and ice storms which the Russians were not prepared for in the semi-arid climate of the Middle East. Meanwhile gangs of criminals were put to work in digging trenches and building bastions and embankments (they were afterwards freed, and nearly all of them joined Bogdan Pasha's army, bringing the number to 84,000). At the beginning of October there were some 120 miles of earthen obstructions and shelters in place.

On 5 October, Anatolievich marched his 650,000 troops into Anatolia, breaking off smaller cavalry forces of 1,200 to burn the farmlands and ranches in a scorched earth opening to the offensive. Local Turkish sipahis and bashi-bazouks blunted many of these raids, but nonetheless much of the countryside was laid waste and hundreds of civilians slaughtered. On 8 October, the main Russian army reached the vicinity of Ankara, where he soon found that his cavalry advantage had been blunted thanks to wood stakes and trenches . Setting up his artillery and mortar emplacements, he sent a soldier to offer fair terms if the city surrendered. Girding the Sword of Osman and joining those manning the walls, Selim III rejected the offer coldly, pointing to the green flag of the Prophet Mohammad and declaring that he would surrender only when a Cossack earned the right to cut down the flag. Enraged by the reply he received, Anatolievich ordered a bombardment of the city. To his surprise, his batteres came under fire from several regiments of Topijis armed with the latest rifles bought from Britain. Unable to bring the gunners to their equipment while under fire, he ordered the Mingrelian horse-archers to charge into the trenches and clear them of the enemy infantry. In 40 minutes of intense fighting, the Mingrelians were forced to retreat with some losses, though the Turks lost 2,000 in the skirmish. This was enough, however to allow the gunners to reach their batteries and the remaining Turkish troops were subjected to intense cannon bombardment and forced to fall back, losing an additional 900 in the process. Anatolievich sent his Iraqi troops Sumeria contributed into the now empty trenches, bringing the siege line closer to the city.

From his vantage point at the top of the gatehouse, Selim III shouted a mix of curses, remonstrances, and encouragements at his men as they pushed back against the Russian advance. Turkish cannon now began to reply to the Russian bombardment with their own fire and for miles in every direction, the clashing sounds of cannon fire could be both heard and felt. An Egyptian regiment commanded by Kasto Haik Bey gained a notable victory when they routed a slightly larger battalion of Kurdish irregulars led by Hatin Coban, who was wounded in the ankle by a bullet which had killed a Kurdish soldier who was following him. Forced to limp back to the Russian lines, Coban was stripped of his commendations by Anatolievich for 'cowardice' in the face of the enemy. He would spend only one day in triage before returning to the battle, where he would be killed. Haik Bey led his victorious Egyptians forward to take the battle to the Russians and broke the spirit of a regiment of Assyrian infantry, sending them routing. By the end of the first day of the siege, The Russians had lost 1,150 killed and 288 captured, while the Turks lost 3,200 killed and 300 captured. Anatolievich settled his troops into the lands and trenches they had seized and continued a bombardment of the city and its defenders on the hour in durations of 15 minutes, every hour. No one on either side slept. At 3 am on the 6th skirmishers from both sides attempted to attack the artillery emplacements of the other, only to be repulsed with significant losses (Russians losing 1,700 and the Ottomans losing 1,850). Attrition and starvation began to set in within the capital, to the point where bread became the most fought-over item among those who were not on the frontlines. Selim III, in order to prevent a breakdown in morale that would result, now decreed that any able-bodied city resident, male or female, who contributed to the defense of the city would be exempt from taxation for a ten-year period and receive government assistance in the form of funds, grain, livestock, clothing, and medicines. To further incentivize the townspeople, he even ordered that his privy purse be opened and gold distributed as far as it could go with the pledge that those who did not receive payment would be compensated. This had the desired effect as soon the number of defenders rose to 282,000 (from 80,800). By contrast, deep in the heart of Anatolia, Anatolievich could not expect any reinforcements for seven days, either from the Sumerian puppet-state to the east, or the Byzantine vassal-kingdom to the northwest, and while he still held the numerical advantage over his foe, his enemy's ability to replenish his numbers almost immediately left him at a slight-yet-significant disadvantage.

Using this advantage in logisstics, Selim ordered his army to press forward and push the Russians back. Bogdan Pasha, personally leading a group of sipahis and topijis with Greek and Bulgar auxiliaries, managed to isolate the Kurds on the Russian side. With Coban at their lead, the Kurds offered an intense resistance to the Turkish advance, and in the process the wounded and barely-recovered Coban was shot in the chest by a Greek soldier, dead before he hit the ground. The loss of their chieftain was enough to break the spirit of the Kurds, who fled from the field. Bogdan chose not to pursue and crush them, knowing as he did that Anatolievich would do that work for him. Sure enough, a force of Cossack horse had been ordered to pursue the surviving Kurds, where all but 200 were slaughtered in cold-blood. Anatolievich had lost his most powerful cavalry advantage by sending the Cossacks to hunt down the fleeing Kurds, and Selim III saw his chance. Unleashing the feared akinjis on the now exposed Iraqi Christian and Shi'ite brigades, the Turks broke their resistance quickly, then pursued the survivors as they fled. Those who weren't killed immediately surrendered to the akinjis rather than allow Anatolievich to murder them as he had the Kurds. But meanwhile in the city, starvation was taking its toll as the elderly left to care for the children were becoming so desperate that they were even willing to commit murder and cannibalism just to stay alive. As news of the murders soon spread, Selim III became enraged at the blatant discord andpanic among those families who were contributing to the defense of the city, knowing the elderly were likely killing their children. He imposed a strict curfew on the city, then ordered soldiers to gather the children and take them to the several mosques in the city center to protect them both from the Russian artillery fire and the starving elders. On the Russian side, the coming winter with its cold and often blizzard-like conditions on the plateau forced Anatolievich into a desperate decision. He sent out two riders to travel to Byzantium and Sumeria, requesting immediate reinforcement so they could take the city before 30 October, while they could still pillage the few farmlands not burned to the ground in their advance. Only one of those riders reached his destination as the one bound for Byzantium was captured and executed by Bulgarian irregulars as he tried to slip past the Turkish garrisons on the walls.

Seven days later, Anatolievich finally received his answer when his sentries reported that an army of 15,000 was marching in from Sumeria. He had expected larger troop numbers, but as Sumeria was constantly under attack from the Persians, who were preparing to reenter the war thanks to Russian distractions in eastern Europe and the Far East, these fresh troops were the most that could be spared. Embittered by this, Anatolievich ordered another rider to travel toByzantium and demand additional troops (this rider did make it past the Turkish sentries) while he tried to make the best of the situation with the reinforcements he now had. Selim III knew that with the second dispatch on its way to Constantinople, he would soon face a force of Russian, Cossack and loyalist Greek-Byzantine troops attacking his rear. In his own desperation, he ordered Haik Bey to take his Egyptians, augmented by Greek, Kurdish, and Armenian troops and march toward Constantinople and attempt to slow the approach of the enemy, vowing to him that he'd "either return to a city where the Ottoman flag and Banner of the Prophet still flew, or a ruined city filled with the fire-charred bodies of the fallen, on their way to Paradise". On the Russian side, Anatolievich revealed the plans Russia had made with Hungary and Spain on division of what remained of the Ottoman Empire should they be successful in capturing the city and its sultan. He further pledged that all Russian soldiers who fought would be granted estates in Anatolia and that any who captured the Sultan would be guaranteed a title in addition. Spurred by these promises, the Russians opened the mid-morning of the 13th with a great offensive push that took Selim III by surprise. In three hours of heavy fighting, the Russian advance closed to within 8,000 yards of the city walls. Here the distance was so close that every mortar shot struck the target, and Selim III soon had to find shelter to escape being shot at by Russian sharpshooters. Their advantaged negated by the sudden Russian push, the Turks could only hope that Haik Bey's force had intercepted the reinforcing army.

Near the old Ottoman capital of Bursa, Haik Bey came upon the force of 60,000 troops from their vantage point on the heights outside the city. Led by a Greek loyalist of Konstantin I ironically named Leonidas Spatkos, this Byzantine Greek-Russian-Cossack army had just crossed the Bosporus from Constantinople and had made their way to Nicaea, and from there to Bursa. Testament to their determination to rid Anatolia of the Ottomans was the smoke rising from within the distant city. His men now enraged by the sight, Haik Bey ordered an immediate attack. Spatkos was unprepared when the Ottoman army of Haik Bey descended from the heights at full gallop, infantry running hard on their heels trying to keep up. Plunging into the valley, the Armenian and Kurdish horsemen, wielding rifles, pistols, scimitars and bows rode straight into the Cossacks, under fire from the Byzantine Greek and Russian infantry who barely managed to form into defensive lines before the enemy broke into them. They came under attack in turn from the Turkish and Egyptian infantry attacking them from the heights. Spatkos tried to rally the Cossacks, but as he knew very little Russian he was unable to prevent them breaking and taking flight. Fearing for his remaining army and his own life, Spatkos ordered a retreat for Smyrna (Izmir OTL) in the hope of pulling his enemy away from the critical battlefield of Ankara. Haik Bey pursued his enemy to Smyrna, inflicting another crushing defeat on him yet never able to destroy his army. For the remainder of the siege and battle of Ankara, these two commanders would continue to chase each other across western Anatolia.

On the afternoon of the 22nd, nine days past the expected arrival time for the reinforcememts from Byzantium, Anatolievich was under considerable pressure to press his siege into an all-out assault. He was aware that starvation and cannibalism were already rampant in the city and that in trying to stave off complete civil breakdown, Selim III had been forced to pull more troops off the walls to quell the discontent, even resorting to executions of the elderly in order to extend the food supplies a few more days. For his own part, Anatolievich was also running low on food, having pillaged the surviving farms and ranches to depletion (and in so doing starving their residents to death). Furthermore, there was now news that Sumeria and Persia were in a full-scale war which Russia was now having to join in. Meanwhile Konstantin I had suffered his first major setback when after a series of early victories against the Mongols, the Manchu Chinese had joined in the war and already inflicted the first defeat on the Russians in that theater. With no further prospects for reinforcements from Sumeria or Russia and any expectation of help from Byzantium now a pipe dream, he was left with no alternative. He gathered his commanders that night and extolled the glories of Peter the Great, Ivan the Terrible and even the founder of Russia, Rurik in an effort to boost the morale of his men. Then on the morning of the 23rd, with a cannon shot to signal it, the final assault on Ankara began. Wave after wave of Cossack, Iraqi Christian, Byzantine Greek, Mingrelian and Circassian troops were thrown against the defenses of the Turks while mortar began punching holes in the walls. Each new hole opened allowed a major push of the Russian forces into the suburban areas of the city, where they were soon met by soldiers, imams, even ordinary townsfolk in pitched battles which nonetheless pushed the Turks back and opened more ground for the Russians. Selim III, in an act of bravado which could've been suicidal had it not turned the tide, rode out on his Arabian charger, scimitar in one hand, the Banner of the Prophet in the other, challenging any Russian who thought himself brave enough to attempt to take the banner by force. Many Russians who were willing to take up the challenge threw down their rifles, drawing their sabers instead. At several moments it looked as though the Russians would be successful, but the bravery of Selim III had the effect of convincing many of his soldiers of their desire to sacrifice all in glorious battle and soon the defense gained the upper hand, slowly pushing the Russians back toward the breached walls. One more surprise awaited them as Kurdish horsemen and Arab cavalry, riding on camels and armed with scimitars, pikes and rifles, charged at the Russians from the rear. Surrounded by his reserve force and viewing the scene from the heights outside the city, Anatolievich ordered his men into battle to beat back the Kurds and Arabs, silently vowing to himself to lay waste to Arabia after his victory. But by 4 pm that afternoon, even the addition of the reserves did little to improve the situation for Russia. In fact, several hundred Russian soldiers had already broke and were fleeing even as Anatolievich shouted curses at them. Unable to stop them and aware that his own position was now dangerously exposed to sipahis, Anatolievich had no choice but to order a retreat which had already degenerated into a rout, withdrawing to Batum. It would be four days later that he'd learn that the reinforcing army from Byzantium, which could've gave him the victory he sought for himself and the Tsar-Emperor, had been finally destroyed just opposite the island of Rhodes, blockaded by a fleet of Turkish and -much to his outrage-Maltese ships. In that same moment he learned the fate oif Spatkos's army, Selim III was receiving Haik Bey, fresh from his victory. Among the trophies he brought back with him was the head of Leonidas Spatkos, preserved in honey. It was cleansed in a stream, then mounted on a pike in the city square as a symbol of a victory nobody could've forseen days ago. In 18 days of siege and battle, the Russians lost 470,000 of their original 650,000 plus the 60,000 reinforcements from Byzantium that never arrived at Ankara. an additional 60,000 had become POWs of the Ottomans. On their side, the Turks lost 92,000 of the original 282,000 killed (not counting the civilian deaths due to starvation and cannibalism). While this still left the Russians with a sizeable army and an opportunity to attack Ankara again, the discontent of the Armenians and outrage of the Kurdish tribes who had learned of the massacre of their number by Russian hands insured that Russia could never again mount an effective attack against the Ottomans. As one final insult to his reputation, Anatolievich was recalled to Moscow, where he suffered the wrath of Konstantin I before being sent to the Far Eastern front. He would be killed by a Mongol infantryman just days before the Truce of Beshbalik brought a temporary end to the fighting in that theater. For Selim III, there was now hope that the City of the World's Desire would be restored to the House of Osman once again.

Zulu Civil War and the Rise of the Zulu Empire
Since 1781, Senzangakona had ruled the Zulus. When he disinherited Sigujama in favor of his som Shaka and sent him to Madagascar to carve out a Zulu colony (and in so doing keep him safe), he had created a tense situation within the Royal Kraal. His uncle and chief minister, Mudhli, his iNduna M'Bopa, his sister Mkabayi and Mhlangana had suspected that the First Wife, Nandi, had somehow bewitched Senzangakona. Fearing for their own safety if they tried to eliminate Nandi, they chose instead to assassinate Senzangakona. Using a mixture of poisonous plants, fecal material from hyenas and fungi, the iSangomas had concocted a poison which was easily slipped into the fermented goat milk Senzangakona often drank. For the next several years, he continued his daily routines unaware that he was slowly killing himself. It was believed they had the time to formulate their plans for Shaka once his father was dead, but then they received news of Shaka's attack on a white colony northeast of the Zulu kingdom. The unexpected invasion of Mozambique and its incorporation into the Zulu patrimony alarmed Sigujana and his conspirators. As a result, they were forced to speed up their timetable. By 1799, Senzangakona was clearly becoming weaker. He finally died on 9 May 1800 at a moment when, next-door in Dutch Suid-Afrika, the news of the fall of Amsterdam had just arrived, and there were signs that the Spanish were set to impose their colonial government on the Dutch colony. Sigujana now had his chance. Assuming the throne, Sigujana knew he would have to act to prevent Shaka from using his new conquest as a base to rally support. Unfortunately, Shaka already had support from within the Royal Kraal. Sigujana gathered impis from the Zulu, Qwabe, Ndwandwe, and Buthelezi numbering 400,000 in total, placing them under the command of M'bopa (also spelled Mbopha) and commanding him to advance into Mozambique (eMozambique) with the goal of capturing Shaka. He commanded his father's childhood friend and induna Gazi to raise a second army of 100,000 impi using any means necessary.

On 17 May, Shaka learned of Sigujana's seizure of the Zulu throne and the murder of his father. Though Shaka felt some resentment toward Senzangakona for sending him to Madagascar, he also knew that by doing so, he had been given the time to mature and hone his military skills against the native peoples of the island as well as the Kilwan and Ottoman colonizers. Using these skills, Shaka had went on to conquer the former Portuguese colony of Mozambique, adding it to his personal dominion and leaving it under the capable hands of his brother Ngwadi. With his half-brother Dingane, Shaka was able to raise a large mixed force of Zulu, Portuguese, Mutapan, Kilwan, and Ottoman troops numbering 800,000 in total. He was also able to gain the assistance of a local ally, the paramount chief of the Mtetwa Federation, Dingiswayo, who provided an additional 50,000 impi. Marching south to Port Natal, the British enclave which had served as a Zulu port that allowed Shaka to land his impi for the conquest of Mozambique. Meeting with the Company administration, Shaka was able to purchase 3 6-pound cannon and additional rifles. Four days later, near the rise of Isandhlwana his impi met the force under Mbopha. The two opposing forces drew up, but whereas Mbopha formed his regiments into squares, Shaka adapted the bull' formation, taking Mbopha by complete surprise. Mbopha lost 40,000 in this first battle and was forced to retreat, with Shaka in hot pursuit. Four days later, Mbopha made a stand in a dense jungle and large stream which would forever be remembered as 'Blood Ravine' or Umhosha Wegazi. Thinking he had the advantage of the high ground, Mbopha held his ground and even taunted Shaka. Shaka answered by having his Portuguese and Ottoman Zulus bring their artillery forward. The cannon blasts frightened Mbopha's impis, many of whom simply fled. Mbopha himself was frightened by the 'fire-spitting logs' but remained determined to hold the high ground. But as his impi continued to lose the will to fight, he was forced to engage Shaka's force. In the four hours that followed, Shaka's impis overwhelmed the remaining impis under Mbopha's leadership. Mbopha himself, after nearly losing his life to Kilwan spearmen, lost the will to fight and tried to escape once more, but three of his impis who had become disillusioned with his leadership captured him. Expecting leniency from Shaka, they brought Mbopha before the victorious prince. Mbopha was said to have loudly denounced Shaka as nothing more than "a tyrant who drank the blood of children and mingled with the pale demons". Though Shaka was suitably impressed by the courage of the men who had brought their fallen induna before him, the very fact they had turned on Mbopha was considered by Shaka to be a betrayal and as such could not go unanswered. He gave them enough leniency to allow them to watch as Mbopha was beheaded by an Ottoman scimitar and his head affixed to a pike (his body was left unburied, to be food for the scavengers), but then as punishment for their betrayal the three were impaled.

Sigujana received the news of the death of Mbopha only four days after the Battle of Umhosha Wegazi. Fully alarmed, he ordered Gazi to march north to intercept Shaka. Instead, Gazi tried to switch sides. He did inform Shaka of the role Sigujana, Mkabayi and Mudhli played in the death of Senzangakona. He pleaded for mercy in admitting his own role in the murder. Shaka, enraged by this, stabbed Gazi with his Ikwa and commanded that the impi he had led submit to him. This force was combined with Dingiswayo's impis, raising his total force to 150,000. Dingiswayo used this enlarged army to put the Buthelezi impi (numbering 45,000) to flight before they could reach the Zulu Royal Kraal. Deprived of these impis, Sigujana marched the rest of his force under the command of Mhlangana north to intercept Dingiswayo before he could move against the eLangeni (who belatedly sided with Sigujana out of fear of Shaka). At the First Battle of Goqkli Hill (29 May) Dingiswayo pushed Mhlangana's force into a ravine, where their lack of mobility in the tight spaces made it easy for Dingiswayo's impis to pick them off. Those who were able to escape fled back to Sigujana. Mhlangana himself also escaped, into Ndwandwe territory, where he was welcomed by their chief Zwide. Zwide offered 6,000 of his warriors to strike at Dingiswayo again, but Mhlangana was unwilling to challenge the Mtetwa chief without a larger force. Meanwhile, Sigujana lost another ally in the Qwabes when Gendeyana, a some-time surrogate father of the young Shaka (before he was welcomed back into the Zulu kraal as successor of his father) overthrew the Qwabe chief, Sotubo, and assumed the throne. While it took time to recall the Qwabe impis from Sigujana's army, nonetheless, the defection of the Qwabes was another blow to Sigujana's determination to hold onto power.

But while Shaka gained one ally, he would lose another. Zwide's iSangoma mother had managed to hypnotize a virgin maiden at Dingiswayo's court to assassinate him by beheading him as he was ritually washing his hands. News of the assassination reached Shaka, who had to leave his army in the command of his brother Ngwadi and travel with a small force of uFaSimba (bodyguard) to the Mtetwa capital. Here he not only killed the hapless maiden but the guards assigned to protect the king as punishment for failing in their duties. He then had their corpses impaled*** as a warning to anyone who thought to try to assert their own claim. Then using his own prior relationship to the great chief and the fact that Dingiswayo had no heirs, Shaka formally integrated the Mtetwa paramountcy into the Zulu Kingdom, which brought it to the rank of empire. Combining the Mtetwa impis to his own, Shaka returned to command his overwhelmingly large force. Seeing what had happened to the Mtetwa, King Makedama of the eLangeni chieftaincy immediately withdrew his impis from Sigujana's army and declared himself neutral. Sigujana, furious at the eLangeni, intended to force them back into line, but on his way to the Zulu capital of Dukuza, Shaka visited the eLangeni and ordered all the men over 25 to be put to death, while the women and children were simply rounded up. Makedama himself was later impaled alive by Shaka, and forced in his death agonies to watch his village burn to the ground. Faced with the prospect of losing his village to Shaka's wrath, Sigujana marched north with the impis still remaining to him and on 18 June at the Second Battle of Goqkli Hill, Shaka inflicted the most crushing defeat on Sigujana yet. Though he escaped, he had committed the ultimate blunder in that he had lost 19,000 of his impis in the battle, while Shaka lost only 7,000. Sigujana fled to the Royal Kraal, with Shaka now in pursuit from the north and Ngwadi marching from the south. Shaka arrived at Dukuza on 22 June to confront a militarily weakened Sigujana. Learning of the role both Mudhli (also Shaka's great-uncle) and Mkabayi (Shaka's aunt) played in the conspiracy to replace Senzangakona with Sigujana before Shaka could assert his legal rights, Shaka had them bound at their wrists**** and forced to watch as he stabbed Sigujana with the royal spear. Mhlangana arrived alone at the Royal Kraal and confessed his own role in the conspiracy, throwing himself on Shaka's feet in an effort to plead for mercy. Ngwadi stabbed him with his assegai, killing him as well. Shaka ordered his uFaSimba to seek out any who were loyal to Sigujana and execute them where they stood. In so doing, Shaka purged the nascent Zulu Empire of 11,000 who had been loyal to the late boy-king. But he saved his most brutal punishment for his kin. It was said that Nandi tore off the breasts of Mkabayi with her own hands, stripping her of everything that made her a woman. Regardless of whether this is true or not, Shaka did inflict horrors on them the likes of which had never been seen in African history before finally having them both impaled alive. Mudhli died first, his old, withered body unable to bear the pain of the stake slowly working through his body. Mkabayi, chest opened up, lived long enough for the scavenging birds to begin feasting off the juicy flesh before expiring herself. Their bodies were left on the pikes for several weeks.

In the days that followed, Shaka did indeed raze the Royal Kraal, choosing to build a larger village complex and Imperial kraal 20 miles away. He named this new capital Kwa Bulawayo, which translated as "the place of the killing" for indeed the new African Caesar continued to seek out and execute those holdouts who either remained loyal to the late Sigujana or were too slow to show their fealty to Shaka. In the next three months, no less than 25,000 people were executed. Shaka, in establishing the empire, allocated eMozambique to his brother Ngwadi and IIsi-Malagasy to his half-brother, the loyal Dingane. With this one action and a series of small skirmishes and two major battles, Shaka had created the largest empire in southern Africa, with more room for expansion, and a future opportunity to do so.

Siege of Novgorod (concurrent with the simultaneous siege of Ankara)
From the late 1790s, when Konstantin the Tsar-Emperor of Russia initiated the war against the Grand Republic of Novgorod ruled by Grand Prince Yuri I Dolgurukov, the Novgorodians had been fighting a losing war against the colossal Russian advance. Cut off from potential allies in Poland-Lithuania, the Ottoman Empire and Sweden, the Novgorodians fought fiercely, making the Russians pay in blood for every mile of territory taken. But the odds were stacked against Yuri, who was increasingly constrained to flee his capital and attempt to rally support. By 1800, Novgorod itself was surrounded by a massive Russian army and put under siege. Yuri managed to get his family to Swedish safety, but chose to remain with his people.

Konstantin I himself was in overall command of the siege, feeling the need to personally see the fall of the city and claim his victory of reunification. The new Grand Prince of Novgorod, Vasily I Dolgurukov had succeeded his father, who died of illness in 1798. He spent the period in exile gathering resources and forging alliances with the goal of breaking the siege of his capital and liberating his nation from the Russian yoke. In charge of the defense of the city was a veteran general, Rusya Aleskeevich with a force of only 30,000 professional soldiers as well as 30,000 town militia and a body of some 190,000 civilian men armed with muskets. Opposing this was Konstantin's army of 180,000 men which at the end of 1800 was swelled to some 260,000 in total (many of these were conscripted from the Novgorodian villages conquered by the Russians forcefully). So certain was Konstantin I of final victory that he had not only announced that Russia was one imperial nation again, but he even met with the Hungarian ambassador to partition the Ottoman Empire, which he was also on the verge of invading. He had already crushed the military power of Persia and stripped them of the Central Asian trade hubs of Bukhara and Samarkand and with the creation of the puppet-state of Sumeria had gained access for Russian ships to the Persian Gulf, Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. General Alekseevich was fully aware that while the Novgorodians had made preparations in the event of a Russian siege by stocking up on supplies of medicine, food, water, charcoal and munitions, the fact that the siege had lasted as long as it had meant that all but the munitions would soon start to run low. In fact they had already used up medical supplies thanks to an outbreak of cholera among the townsfolk who were often huddling in cramped conditions thanks to near-daily bombardment from the Russian cannons designed primarily to weaken their will to resist.

On 20 July a cannon fusillade opened up on Novgorod as it had been doing for several months past. Every two days a nonstop barrage of cannon fire kept the civilians pinned down. But this cannonade was different in that Konstantin I was now determined to punch holes in the walls and push his army in to take the city. Alekseevich ordered the garrisons along the walls to prepare for breaches, and at the same time moved cannon into the areas where those breaches were likely to happen, loaded with canister shot. This was done because he knew that the Tsar-Emperor would be eager to rush into the breaches before they could be closed off. At 11:30 am, the first breach occured and true to form, Konstantin I ordered his Chechen irregulars to push in and establish a portal through which the rest of the Russian army could enter. As the Chechens advanced into range, the Novgorodians opened fire with the canister shot, inflicting massive casualties on the Chechens and forcing the survivors to fall back. Angered at this first blunt of his advance, Konstantin I ordered a second breach to be opened in the walls and this time the irregulars would be assisted by a wing of Tartar cavalry. When the second breach was opened, the Chechens were reinforced and sent into the breaches, backed by the Tartars. Again, canister shot was deployed to devastating effect and the Chechens were again forced to fall back, with nearly all the Tartar horse killed. The attempts continued into the late evening with the result that 3,000 Chechens and 850 Tartar horsemen were killed. As night fell, the Russian cannon resumed its psychological assault as Konstantin I mused over his options. He couldn't call up another army as he had sent the bulk of his reserves south to deal with the Ottomans. He was also receiving news of trouble between Sumeria and Persia which could at any time flare into open war. He also knew from spies playing the role of merchants that the provisions within the city were beginning to dwindle and that medical supplies were spent. He called forth his commanders with a brilliant idea.

The first recorded use of biological warfare occured in the late 1340s when the Tartars besieged the Genoese trading-post of Kaffa, The siege had lasted longer than the Tartar commander had planned for, as the Genoese were constantly supplied by sea (an area which the land-based Tartars had no experience in). Wishing to take the port quickly, he came upon an idea inspired by an outbreak of a devastating disease among his soldiers. Utilizing the plague outbreak to his advantage, he ordered that plague-riddled corpses be loaded onto trebuchets and catapults and flung over the walls into the city. In the end, his own losses to the outbreak were too great for him to capitalize on this biological offensive, but the results were just as he hoped. Within days, the people of Kaffa began to come down with the illness and while many hundreds died, the rest fled onto ships bound for the Mediterranean Seaports (hence the Black Death of 1349-51). Using this as his guide, Konstantin I now proposed to take the bodies of those in the Russian army who died as a result of a smaller plague outbreak, and fling them over the walls to infect the population and weaken their defenses to the point the Russians would be welcomed. His commanders were horrified by the idea and voiced their objections, which the Tsar-Emperor refused to entertain, making clear that any commander who failed to obey the decree of the Tsar-Autocrat would be executed and his family estates seized. Cowed by this direct threat, the commanders reluctantly consented to the plan.

In Novgorod itself, General Alekseevich, though heartened by the bold and successful defense of the walls, knew that he was still outnumbered nearly 3 to 1. As the townspeople began to plug the breaches using barrels of earth, planks of wood and stones, no one was aware of the horrible plan being hatched across the 2,000 kilometer gap. It was only in the pre-dawn hours that the screams of the women alerted the garrisons to the sickening sight of corpses landing among the buildings, riddled with the telltale signs of cholera, plague and smallpox. Despite his warnings not to go near the bodies and burn them where they lay, many of the townspeople gathered them up for the burial pits, and thus became infected. Alekseevich drafted a letter for Grand Prince Vasily urging him to bring a relieving army south as there was now an epidemic happening in the city and it was more than ever likely the Russians were about to launch their assault. He then gaves orders for those townsfolk who had become infected to quarantine themselves and the burial pits set alight to burn the corpses. By taking these actions, Alekseevich had defeated a biological attack from his opponent (though at the time he was unaware of this). Days passed as the siege tightened with new attempts to wreak biological havoc on the helpless defenders. Each attempt was blunted, but the psychological toll it was taking on many cause some to wonder if surrender was a preferred option to living under the threat of either cannonballs or corpses raining down upon them. Alekseevich was also growing wary of the siege, having yet received a reply from Grand Prince Vasily. Unknown to Alekseevich was the fact that the assault on Ankara, in the Ottoman Empire, was turning in favor of the Turks.

Meanwhile, in Petersborg (OTL St Petersburg), in the Swedish Baltic, Vasily I had just joined an alliance with Sweden and Poland-Lithuania (which would be further expanded with the addition of Prussia). At the same time a British ambassador who had been meeting with Sweden's King Gustav III also pledged subsidies to Vasily amounting to some $2 million. Utilizing these subsidies, Vasily began to assemble an army comprised mainly of mercenaries and Novgorodian expats. By the 24th of August, he had an army of 550,000 made up of Hanoverian, Hessian, Brunswicker, Danish, British, Prussian, Lithuanian, Finnish, Swedish mercenaries and even Russian defectors and Novogorodian expats. He sent a force of 400 Polish hussars commanded by Aleksy Barna to ride south, reconnoiter the area around Novgorod and make contact with General Alekseevich. Three weeks later, Barna and his hussars arrived at Novgorod. Posing as Russian dragoons, they made their way through the Russian lines (aided by their knowledge of the Russian language) and slipped into the city. After getting the status of the city's defenses, the attempts to use plague by the Russians and the condition of the Russian forces from Alekseevich (and getting their horses fed in the meantime) Barna passed a message from Vasily I that help was coming, but it would take four weeks to arrive, and thus they would have to hold the Russians at bay for that length of time. Alekseevich's reply was foreboding:
"The Grand Prince must get here with all haste, as our people are on the verge of surrendering this city to the Muscovites and there's nothing short of a massacre that can prevent this from happening"
Barna pledged to pass the message along and with his hussars, took leave of the city. Unfortunately, a Russian patrol caught sight of the Poles and, taking no chances that it coukd be Novgorodian civilians trying to flee, opened fire. Barna lost 80 of his best riders but took the rest back to Petersborg. Konstantin I was awakened from his sleep with the report of the Polish escape. He now realized that he needed to take the city quickly if he was to gain a surefire bastion to withstand the counterattack he knew was coming.

At 3 am on the 26th of August, a cannon, mortar, and rocket bombardment the likes of which had never been seen before was unleashed on the city. Russian regulars, Chechen irregulars eager to redeem themselves, Tartar horse equally eager for revenge, and Bashkir archers were formed into regiments and made ready for the all-out assault. Alekseevich called upon all able-bodied men and even the teenaged boys to come to the defense of the capital and the 'Novgorodian motherland' Wave after wave of Russian troops threw themselves at the defenders, and though they suffered casualties, the siege-fatigue, food shortages and constant threat of disease had worn down the defenders. Alekseevich made every effort to rally the troops, even coming close to being shot by a sharpshooter at certain moments. As several breaches were opened in the walls, the townspeople sallied forth to fight the charging Russians, using muskets, bayonets, even rakes and hoes as weapons in their desperation. After four hours of intense fighting, the Russians had barely penetrated past the walls and the frustration was becoming apparent on the Tsar-Emperor's face as he mounted his horse and rode forward shouting praise and threats in alteration. A possible threat to the defense of the city arose when the food shortage precipitated a riot among those who were still in quarantine. Violence erupted between the quarantined and soon it spread out into the streets, which caused panic among the healthy at the prospects of coming down with plague at a moment of peril. For them, killing the infected was the only solution and thus, against the orders of Alekseevich, small groups actually broke formation to attack the rioters, killing hundreds. He finally managed to quell the violence but by then the Russians had made some slight but still significant progress into the city and more were coming through the wall breaches. Alekseevich ordered a rolling volley in order to keep up a constant rate of fire and slow the Russian advance. This had the effect of not only slowing them, but even forcing them back. Nonetheless Alekseevich had lost 86,000 to a combination of Russian bullets, disease, food shortage and rioting. By comparison, Konstantin I lost 92,000 to disease and Novgorodian defense. He still had the numerical edge in that he could conscript more troops for his army, whereas Alekseevich could not. Each new day for a week brought the Russians a bit closer to the city square and at the same time depleted more of Alekseevich's force in their stout resistance. As Alekseevich prepared to make his final stand, relief finally arrived when elements of Vasily's multinational army appeared in the distance. Cavalry from Poland and Hanover charged into the Russians from the rear, which caused panic in the entire force. Alekseevich used the momentum of Vasily's arrival to rally the surviving troops and begin pressing the Russians. Hemmed in between the cavalry and the garrison, the Russians began to panic and shoot wildly, killing each other more often than their enemies. Konstantin I used his saber to hack his way through friend and foe alike in a desperate bid to escape. Panic set in as soon as it became apparent that the Tsar-Emperor had retreated. Konstantin had rejoined his reserve force, but it was now too late to reinforce the army still in the city and soon Russian soldiers were routing. He had no option now but to call a retreat-though only half the surviving army did so in an orderly manner. The rest had been broken and were simply running. It was on the march back to Moscow that Konstantin learned of the disaster at Ankara and the withdrawal of Anatolievich's battered army into Armenia. This news likewise reached Vasily as his army marched into Novgorod and cleared the streets of stragglers from the Russian army

In all, Konstantin I lost 153,000 out of 260,000 to enemy action, disease and in the end, friendly-fire. He was left with only 107,000 troops who were now desperate to return home. Alekseevich had lost an additional 53,000 troops and militia to disease and enemy combat, but thanks to the arrival of Vasily I with his army, Novgorod had been saved. For Konstantin, failure at Ankara could, on its own, be viewed as a setback that could be as much attributed to the brewing Sumeria-Persia conflict as to the determination of the Turks not to fall. But coupled with the failure before the walls of Novgorod, the failure at Ankara had seriously damaged the Tsar-Emperor's prestige. He would go on to commit the biggest blunder of his reign in an effort to rebuild his shattered image and preserve his autocratic rule. Novgorod's larger territory remained under Russian occupation, but thanks to the rescue of the capital by the Grand Prince and his numerous allies, there was now, at least, hope that the day would come when Novgorod's republic would be liberated

The Russo-Mongol War
Even before his second disaster before the walls of Novgorod, Konstantin I had already set into motion the avalanche that would lead to war in the Far East. This conflict could be broken down in its reasons to an ancient origin, an intermediate cause, and a trigger.
The Russians had been ruled for a time by the Mongols and their descendants the Tartars until the fateful Battle of Kulikovo in 1380 put an end to the so-called 'Tartar Yoke'. From that day onwards, the steady expansion of the Muscovite state into the Russian Empire had involved clashes with the Tartars who had clung to the Crimea, Astrakhan, Kazan, Nogai and Sibir. As the Russian state expanded east, they either destroyed or displaced the Tartar hordes that stood in their path. Its ofren considered the Russian version of the Reconquista. Nonetheless, Russian settlement in the Siberia region was sparse at best due to the lack of arable land and the harsh winters. At the same time, The Mongol heartland, reduced in size since the collapse of Genghisid power, faced the prospect of being swallowed by either the Russian or Chinese empires. Tseveendorj had managed to forge an 'everlasting alliance' with the Manchu which allowed a joint condominium over Manchuria itself a free hand in Korea and military support for both nations against the rising challenges of both Russia and Japan. His conquest of Korea and the greater part of the Japanese home islands allowed for the Mongol Khanate to elevate itself to 'khaganate'. The absorption of the remnants of the Uzbek Khaganate had opened Central Asia to the Persian frontier to Mongol expansion. For the Manchus, the expansion of Mongol power to the north, northeast, and west had afforded them a barriier against Russian encroachment. Both empires benefitted from the increase in trade between them.

Mahashiri, who became Great Khagan in 1800, engaged in a brief war with the Nihonese/Nipponese (free Japanese) Shogunate which had extended Mongol control over the rest of the island of Honshu and confined the Shogunate to the remaining islands of Shikoku and Kyushu (as well as imposing an annual tribute, and tieing the Nipponese into near-vassal status). This now opened for the Mongols the prospects of expansion and colonialism in the Pacific region-colonialism which was not seen in Beijing as a threat as it meant that China's barrier would be expanded cheaply. Mahashiri had even lent a force of 8,000 keshik cavalry to the Manchu expedition to Taiwan to defeat Nipponese attempts at settlement and blunt the efforts of newcomers from the West at the same. In May, Mahashiri authorized the establishment of 'land colonies' in the regions of Siberia, Irkutsk and Yakutsk with an eye toward eventually conquering Kamchatka. Unknown to the Khagan was the fact these regions were already claimed by Russia. As Mongol, Manchu, Japanese and Chinese settlers began to move into the provinces, they increasingly came into conflict with the Russian prospectors, fur trappers and colonists coming from the west. Skirmishing erupted which soon brought a Mongol army of 30,000 into the Siberian Far East in an effort to neutralize the Russian threat-this at a time where Russian forces were close to achieving their objectives in Novgorod and Ankara. Mahashiri cautioned against continued fighting as his khaganate was not yet ready to challenge Russia, but with the Russian defeats in Novgorod and Anatolia, Russian attention was soon turning east, with Konstantin I eager to vindicate Russian arms once and for all.

On 15 September, following a period in which the battered remnants of the Grand Army of Russia (as the main army which had failed before Novgorod was named) was rebuilt and reinforced with the addition of 10,000 Kazakh, 6,000 Chechen, and 3,000 Kyrgiz irregulars, Konstantin I placed the army under the command of his companion and formerly generalissimus of the Byzantine-Russian Army, Ivan Papilovich*****. Papilovich marched from Niznhy Novgorod on the 18th, where he had conscripted an additional 24,000 Daghestani irregulars. They had hoped to reach Yekaterinburg by the 27th, and catch the Mongols by surprise. Unfortunately, by the time the 140,000 strong army left Niznhy Novgorod, news of their movements had reached Mahashiri. Wasting no time, he bolstered the Mongol army in Siberia to 139,000 and sent an ultimatum to Konstantin I to cede Siberia, Irkutsk, Yakutsk and Kamchatka to the Mongol Khaganate. At the same time the envoy set off for Tsaritsyn, the Mongol army set off for Yekaterinburg, arriving outside the city on the 22nd. Brushing aside the meager garrison, the Mongols captured the city and began to fortify it against the expected Russian counterattack. Three days later, the Russian army of Papilovich arrived to find the Mongols entrenched within the city and a formidable series of defensive works facing them. Papilovich, with only 25 cannon, launched an all-out assault on the city hoping to breach the defenses. Each breach was followed by attempts by the Chechens, Daghestanis and Kazakhs to rush the Mongols, with each attempt costing both sides but ending with the Mongols holding the breach. After the seventh such attempt failed, Papilovich berated the Kazakh commander, Yerzhan Kenesov so brutally that during the night Kenesov and the remaining 7,000 Kazakh horse and light troops slipped out of the Russian camp and submitted to the Mongol commander, Bashimur. Bashimur agreed to hold the Kazahks in reserve to surprise Papilovich. On the morning of the 16th, Russian artillery resumed their bombardment of the city. Bashimur used their focus on the defensive works to his advantage, sending Kenesov at the head of a combined Kazakh-Mongol cavalry force to harry the Russians. They charged into the Russian lines under heavy fire and of the 20,000 that went in, 13,000 Mongol and 2,000 Kazahk horsemen were killed. Nonetheless they inflicted heavier losses on the Russians, killing 1,700 and surprising Papilovich. Seeing his momentum slipping, Papilovich ordered the Russian infantry, with their Chechen and Cossack auxiliaries to charge into the Mongol formations. At least seven times in four hours, the Russians made their push, gaining a little ground but ultimately failing to break the Mongol resistance. Papilovich realized he needed a larger force in order to retake Yekaterinburg and on 7 October, he ordered a withdrawal back to the eastern frontier of the Ural Mountains while he presented his case to the Tsar-Emperor back in Moscow.

Konstantin I received his general with barely concealed contempt on 11 October. Already the Tsar-Emperor was feeling the weight of the twin defeats in Novgorod and Ankara. His ambassadors in the Dresden Pact countries were already warning him of stirrings from the Grand Alliance. Determined to redeem Russia and make the Grand Alliance fear any future conflict, Konstantin I agreed to enlarge Papilovich's army using elements from the Byzantine State-Army, the Army of Anatolia and the Crimean Army. Konstantin himself pledged to lead the Second Army comprised of the various armies which had all but conquered the Grand Republic of Novgorod. He further informed Papilovich that failure to bring the Mongols to heel would likely result in his execution as Konstantin would no longer tolerate failure. To this end, and as one last chance at redemption, he recalled Anatolievich from Armenia, placing him in command of a smaller army comprised of Mingrelian, Circassian, Cossack and Armenian troops and cavalry with a battalion of 400 Russian artillery. Their main strategy would be to attack along the Mongol frontiers, diverting enough enemy troops to allow for a breakthrough. Upon achieving breakthrough, the Russian army was to move on Karakorum and take the capital, forcing the Khagan to sue for terms.
For the Mongols, the main objective was to hold Yekaterinburg and advance into Siberia, Yakutsk and Irkutsk, then make a push eastward for the Bering Strait. To this end, the Khagan ordered the conscription of two new armies, leaving their 1st army to hold Yekaterinburg. Additional troops could be called upon from Manchuria and Japan thanks to Mongol control. In addition, the Manchus had a mutual defense treaty with the Khaganate (which the Mongols demonstrated their adherence to with the dispatch of troops to Taiwan).

On 10 December, as the snow covers the ground, the three Russian armies advanced on Yekaterinburg from west, northwest and south. Against this overwhelming force, the Mongol defenses couldn't cope, allowing them to place the city under siege. After fourteen days, the defenders were starved into submission, though in the end they were slaughtered by the Russians anyway. It was four days after Christmas before the Russians first came up against the Mongols. Bashimur, forced to split his army and commit Kenesov to hit-and-run attacks on the Russian supply lines. A Russian cannon bombardment on the morning of the 11th marked the beginning of the siege. Kesenov and his cavalry force rode out into the countryside seeking the Russian supply wagons. At the same time, Bashimur countered with an offense which cost the Russians 37,000 and the Mongols 29,000. Bashimur ordered the implementation of the 'Kaffa Protocol' when a dozen soldiers began to die from an outbreak of plague. Catapulting their corpses over the walls, the plague soon began to spread through the Russian lines. Papilovich ordered that the bodies be burned rather than buried in order to mitigate the effects of the plague. By then 550 Russian soldiers had died while 490 others would be quarantined for the duration of the siege. Nonetheless, the siege intensified as the people of Yekaterinburg began to suffer from lack of food, disease and cold. 14 days in, Bashimur made the decision to slaughter the inhabitants and burn the city in withdrawal. As the Russian forces finally began to advance, they found that their prize was now ablaze, which aside from denying the city's resources to them, also provided cover for the Mongol withdrawal. Bashimur brought his armies to the border of the Khaganate, then sent a message to Mahashiri requesting additional troops as he knew the Russians-inflamed by the destruction of Yekaterinburg-would now settle for nothing less than total victory.
Four days later, on the evening of the 29th, an additional force of 90,000 arrived from the interior, bolstering Bashimur's total force to 200,000.

At Fort St Paul, a makeshift wooden bastion along the Ural road and main starting point for the supply wagons for the Russian armies, had been left with only a force of 2,500 as none were expecting an attack. Thus on the early morning of the 31st, Kenesov's cavalry arrived to find the garrison still sleeping. Opting not to engage the garrison, Kenesov had the idea of simply torching the bastion and both destroying the supplies and killing the garrison. In a lightning fast attack, the cavalry used the torches to put the supplies ablaze, but their hopes of not having to engage the garrison were dashed when a Russian soldier relieving himself spotted the Mongol keshiks and raised the alarm before being hit by four arrows and dying almost instantly. Nevertheless, the attack on the supply base was successful, and those in the garrison not killed immediately surrendered. These POWs were sent to the Circassian slave-markets and would never see their families again. Kesenov then ordered his cavalry to advance on the supply wagons themselves and destroy or loot as much as they could, in order to deny the Russians fresh munitions, medical supplies or food. Seven hours of looting and burning brought a small victory for the Mongols at a time when the Russians would soon begin to hammer at the Mongol outposts on the borders.

At the start of the new year of 1801, Papilovich (with Anatolievich as his second-in-command) reached the Mongol frontier in Tuva. With his two other armies already attacking the borders and drawing the Mongols in, Tuva had become less fortified. This gave Papilovich an opportunity and on 6 January at 7 am, he ordered an immediate attack, Anatolievich, taking command of an artillery battery (soon after known as the Turkey-Shooters in tribute), opened fire on the earthenworks, driving the Mongol defenders back. Bashimur directed the counterattack that gained back only a few kilometers of lost ground and still left his army out in the open, vulnerable to Russian cannon. Bashimur thus ordered new defensive works constructed and for his troops not to lose ground again. He said to them, as later recalled by a soldier:
"You men are the legacy of the Great Founder of Our Nation, Temujin Genghis Khan. He, his sons and grandsons had once spread fear among the peoples of Russia. Do not now lose that courage which had given us Moscow, Kiev, and Novgorod in older times and which if harnessed now will bring everlasting shame upon the Russian pretender to the Great Founder's legacy"
Mongol artillery countered the Russian artillery as the battle raged. Both sides, trying to silence their opposing guns, now threw their cavalry forces into the maelstrom. Meanwhile, Russian and Mongol infantry attempted to push each other back, and it soon became clear to Bashimur that he was losing substantial numbers of men in the battle. By evening, both sides were exhausted and a decision by both commanders was made to rest the troops. Papilovich ordered that artillery continue their bombardment of the Mongol lines in the hopes the explosions would keep their enemy from getting any rest. He wanted his opponent to come to battle the next day with little sleep. Bashimur, with the same idea in mind, also ordered his artillery to keep up their barrage. The end result was neither side got any sleep and by 2 am on the 7th, both sides were engaged once again. It was only after another four hours of strikes and counterstrikes in which an additional 70,000 Mongol troops (in addition to the previous day's losses of 1,200 cavalry) that Bashimur received news of the success of Kesenov's attack on the supply base and wagons. Kesenov himself, with his cavalry force arrived at 11:50 am. Kesenov brought his cavalry against Anatolievich's artillery battery and in a 30-minute, murderous encounter managed to disable the guns and kill 100 artillerymen at the cost of all but 300 of his own cavalry. Anatolievich himself managed to escape, but when he appealed to Konstantin I for a proper fighting force to avenge the loss of his men, the Tsar-Emperor, true to his vow of being unforgiving of defeat, had Anatolievich arrested, then during another lull in the battle, executed in front of the entire Russian army as both motivation and warning.

With a snowstorm raging on the morning of the 9th, Papilovich-desiring above all else to break through the Mongol defenses-ordered one last all-out assault. Bashimur, already aware of the motivation provided by the Tsar-Emperor's execution of Anatolievich two days earlier and their supplies starting to run short, had planned for the major assault, but nonetheless a sudden charge by Cossack cavalry and Chechen foot-soldiers surprised three of his artillery batteries, being caught unprepared as they were having breakfast at the time. With a gap in the artillery screen created by this surprise victory, Papilovich ordered an entire division of Mingrelian and Georgian infantry to rush the breach with a view to splitting the Mongol line in half. As they advanced, the Mongols indeed did split in half and attempted to surround the advancing Mingrelian and Georgian troops, opening a hole in the center. Papilovich ordered the Guards regiments into the breach, followed by cavalry. Bashimur saw the movements of the Russians and saw clearly that he had fallen into their trap. Unable to reunifiy his lines, the Mongol general ordered his reserves to battle in an attempt to crush the Mingrelian and Georgian forces before the Russian Guards regimemts and cavalry could press their advantage. These reserves, known as the Old Guard, pushed against the Mingrelians and Georgians finally breaking their will to fight. 15,000 Mingrelians and 7,000 Georgians were killed in this last major counteroffensive, but it little mattered as now the Russians were pressing into the gap in the defenses and making their way southward. Bashimur saw no other option but to order a withdrawal and it was only stopped from becoming a rout by the brilliant manuevers of Kesenov and his cavalry, who harried the disoriented Georgians. Of the 200,000 Mongols that fought in the two Battles of Tuva, Bashimur only had 129,500 remaining to him. Papilovich had only127,900 of his original 140,000 remaining, giving Bashimur a slight advantage, further bolstered by the losses of the supply wagons on the Russian side. But Konstantin I had recruited some 30,000 Finnish troops from Karelia which arrived five days after the battle, as Papilovich was gathering new supplies for the advance into the Khaganate.

On 20 January, taking advantage of a break in the wintry weather afforded by a high pressure area, Papilovich with his 157,900 troops (400 of these were artillery and 2,000 cavalry) advanced south, then east. Bashimur, falling back, arrived at the tomb of Genghis Khan (alleged), where he now ordered the Old Guards to take up defensive positions while he moved further east to Karakorum. As the capital called up the garrisons and prepared to engage, the Old Guards clashed with the advance units of the Chechen irregulars at 2 pm. The 45-minute battle went badly for the Old Guards, who were nearly swept aside. As the rest fled for Karakorum, news arrived at the capital that a substantial Chinese army was on their way. Bashimur and Mahashiri now entrenched themselves around and inside the capital, respectively.. Papilovich advanced to within 10 miles of the capital, where he called upon the Great Khan to surrender. When Mahashiri refused to even discuss terms, Papilovich readied to bombard the capital. Meanwhile, Kesenov set out with his cavalry force to attack the supply stores. This time the Russians had better guarded the stores and Kesenov barely kept his force together to set the supplies to the torch. Only 30 of the original 300 were able to make it back, with a wounded Kesenov at their head. He would later be given Mongolia's highest commendation posthumously. With their supplies once again destroyed and a snowstorm approaching, Papilovich faced the prospects of another, longer siege. Further, the other two armies had yet to break through the defensive lines and join him. Lastly, there was the prospects of facing the Chinese army advancing from the south to assist their Mongol ally. On the 21st at 3 am, Papilovich opened a cannon bombardment against the outerworks around the capital, hoping to breach the lines and frighten the townspeople into forcing the Great Khan to agree to terms. He was suddenly met with a rocket volley from the capital at the very moment when his recon scouts now informed him of the Chinese army entering the region. Though the number reported, 800,000, is now likely seen to be an exaggeration given the panicked state of the scout rider who reported, there is little doubt that the Chinese army now facing Papilovich outnumbered his army by nearly 4 to 1. Papilovich formed his troops into defensive posture as the Chinese cavalry, 200,000 strong, charged from the foothills near Karakorum, led by General Han Yun. Han Yun led his cavalry straight into the Russian lines before Papilovich could form them up, while the Chinese infantry descended from the hills in their wake. Cannon and rocket fire added to the confusion as the Russian troops wavered, then lost the will to fight and began to retreat. Papilovich managed to rally them and by noon they had finally formed their defensive line roughly two miles further from Karakorum. For the rest of the day, throughout the night, and into the next day, Russian and Chinese fought bitterly, relegating Bashimur's Mongol army to mere spectators. By nightfall on the 23rd, the Russians were running extremely low on supplies and food. A new winter storm was rolling in, and the Chinese, despite their own exhaustion, were still eager for battle. Papilovich had hoped that the new supply base in Almaty (recently captured from the Mongol Khaganate by a smaller Russian force of 25,000) would allow for fresh supplies to arrive. But an informant brought news of the capture of the town by a second Chinese army. Meanwhile one of the two remaining Russian armies on the border had been recalled by Konstantin I as tensions were rising back in Europe.

On the Siberian front, the Russians had managed to drive the Mongols back, but because of the serious need for troops in Europe and Alyeska (Alaska), the number of Russian troops was reduced. This had allowed the Mongols to retake parts of the southern areas of Siberia, Yakutsk and Irkutsk, aided by Chinese and Korean contingents. This now provided the Mongols with leverage as the time finally arrived for peace talks. Konstantin I needed a truce in order to confront the rising tide of war in Europe. The Mongols needed the truce to consolidate their hold on the southern lands. China needed the truce to address a growing economic crisis at home and the continued need for troops in Taiwan to counter the advances of both Japan and the European powers. Thus Papilovich-now granted diplomatic credentials by the Tsar-Emperor-was given authority to negotiate. But even as the Russian general-diplomat and the Mongol Khagan awaited the arrival of the Chinese emissary, the situation in Siberia and Central Asia shifted again. Almaty, which had been conquered by Russia from the Persians, now fell to a joint expedition from China and Mongolia using Kalmyk auxiliaries, and despite four Russian attempts to take back the city, the Chinese-Mongol forces held control, thus cutting off another source of supplies for the Russians and making it more unlikely they could maintain their momentum on so many fronts. In Siberia, the Mongols, taking advantage of the reduction of Russian troops, pushed back into the region, winning back 20 square miles of territory in the far south and holding it against determined Russian counterattacks. The situation in Alyeska, where a combined revolt against the autocratic government imposed by Konstantin I and increasing pressure from the Kingdom of America made the security of the colony a major priority. On 5 February, the Chinese ambassador, Shi Cai, arrived at Karakorum escorted by a formidable retinue of 20,000 infantry which seemed to impress the Great Khagan and gave unease to Papilovich.

After nine days of intense negotiation in which the Mongols refused to yield their conquests and the Russians refused to recognize the same conquests a solution was finally agreed. The Truce of Karakorum set the principle 'uti possedeitis' (what one holds, one controls) with some adjustments. The terms were as follows:
1) The Mongol Khaganate would retain their hold on the southernmost lands of Siberia, Yakutsk, and Irkutsk pending a later decision mediated by the Manchu Empire.
2) As insurance against any immediate Russian attempt to force revision of the Siberian settlement, China would occupy Almaty and the eastern Kazahk lands for a period of 6 months.
3) All Russian troops would evacuate the Mongol Khaganate within a week. Failure to comply would be viewed as an act of war. China and Mongolia reserved the right to respond to such failure as they saw fight.
4) While the southernmost lands of Siberia would be held by the Mongol Khaganate, the Russian Empire retained control over the remainder, with a demilitarized zone between them.
The truce was designed merely to buy time for both the Khaganate and the Russian Empire. Both sides knew this and would soon after begin building fortifications along their side of the DMZ. For Russia, this was a temporary halt on combat while they settled the Alyeska and Novgorod crises. For Mongolia, this was the start of a process of northward expansion into wilderness. For China, this would be the last gasp of a great power as soon after, increasing famine, economic distress and continued conflict over Taiwan would force the Manchu to pull their occupying forces from Almaty 4 months into the 6-month period and leave the Mongol occupation forces dangerously vulnerable. But as tensions in Europe and North America reached boiling point, it wouldn't be long before Mongolia would gain a new ally to replace their old ally.
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The First Spanish-American War (May 1799 - January 1801)
The Spanish empire in America had seen one setback after another. First the loss of the Lake Maracaibo region, soon after followed by the declaration of independence of the Mayans in the Yucatan Peninsula, and most recently by the Anglos who had settled in Tejas. Outraged by these losses, Charles IV had finally acted, sending an armada of 400 ships to Veracruz. Its purpose was twofold: to bolster the Spanish-Mexican garrisons in New Spain and to impose a new, more pliant viceroy and arrest Miguel Jose de Azanza Alegria. On 20 March 1799, the armada arrived in Veracruz and proceeded inland to Mexico City. General Duque met this army, taking command of it with the order to depose and arrest Alegria. After a period in which the parliamentary guard showed hesitation in admitting the army onto the palatial grounds. Alegria, who knew that the king was furious over his inability to defeat the Mayans or prevent Tejas from gaining independence, knew the game was up. He surrendered himself to General Duque, renouncing his viceroyal office to Felix Berenguer de Marquina*. Marquina brought to his office a new determination to bring Tejas and the Mayans back into the Spanish fold, as well as reconquering Cuba, Florida, Georgia and Carolina from America.

George II, inheriting the throne from his uncle, faced the Spanish challenge with a mixture of apprehension and concern. From the reports he received from his ambassadors in London and Versailles, he knew Charles IV was eager to restore the old Empire of Charles V. He had refused to grant the Portuguese royal family asylum in America, and even considered the idea of a formal peace with Spain. But as the Spanish began to invade the Mayan Republic-which George I had guaranteed in a treaty, and oppress the citizens of Tejas, he dropped the idea of peace discussions. He advocated for support for the new Republic of Tejas, sent subsidies to the Mayans, Maracaibans and Portuguese, even opened discussions with the Dutch through his ambassador in London. In addition, he began to raise two armies for possible war, while sending the army of Benjamin Lincoln to the Mayans to bolster their war effort. For the Second Royal American army, he appointed Major General William Henry Harrison**, who won accolades in the Ten Years War. For his second choice, he looked to a major general from the provincial militia, Andrew Jackson*** With a combined total of 180,000 troops, both armies were sent into Tejas at the invitation of the new executive council, who were concerned about the increasing Spanish military numbers. The RAN (Royal American Navy) increased the number of ships being constructed to the degree that five new fleets were assembled by the end of the month. John Paul Jones finally retired on 5 April****, replaced by his protege Oliver H. Perry. Perry was awarded the office of Ministry of the Navy two days later. The only serious setback happened on 9 April when Benjamin Lincoln died of malaria while reconnoitering in the Yucatan jungles. Needing a quick replacement, Anthony Wayne was selected to lead the Army of the Yucatan and set sail for Chichen Itza, arriving on 20 April.

At the same time as Wayne took command of Lincoln's army in Yucatan, a series of revolts against the increased taxation of the local population led to a general insurrection led by Aztec servants who sought a restoration of their national freedom, being inspired by the example of the Mayans. Led by an enigmatic former priest, Mazatl, the Aztecs managed to attack the Spanish garrisons at the Palatial grounds of Chapultapec. This had the effect of forcing Marquina to divert 40,000 troops from the Mayan Front to try and quell the rebellion. In Tejas, the Aztec Uprising was seen as an opportunity not to be missed. Sam Houston, former military officer in the Royal American Army (back when they were still called Continental)*****, was asked to lead an invasion of New Spain. He was more than up to the challenge, but as they would soon find out, Tejas lacked the suitable artillery and logistical support needed for an invasion. On the 22nd, Houston led an army of 35,000 (among them a young Davy Crockett) across the Rio Grande. Their objective was the seizure of the territory on the opposite side of the river to be added to Tejas, and the destruction of the fortresses of Nuevo Laredo, Corpus Christi, and El Paso. Equipped with only 3-pound cannon and a cavalry of only 700, Houston's 1st Tejan Army nonetheless made some progress. On the 24th, after a three-hour siege, El Paso fell to Houston. Turning east, and for the time being ignoring Nuevo Laredo, he seized control of the port of Corpus Christi, then further reduced Padre Island.

Marquina, learning of the attacks by the Tejans began to suspect American involvement, noting the presence of two Royal Armies in Tejas. He wrote a letter to Charles IV urging him to send more troops to New Spain and to engage America. But he needn't have done so, for Charles IV, like George II, had spies among his ambassadors and was fully aware of the two American armies in Tejas. He issued an ultimatum to the American king demanding the withdrawal of troops from Yucatan and Tejas, and yield Cuba, Florida, and Georgia. The ultimatum was received three weeks later, by which time Houston was already on his way to attack the city of Nuevo Laredo. What Houston's scouts failed to learn was that Nuevo Laredo's defenses were more formidable than either El Paso or Corpus Christi. He began the siege on 7 May at 5 am with a cannon broadside which proved ineffective against the walls of the fortress guarding the city. He continued the cannon broadside for up to six hours before realizing he had inadequate cannon for a siege. He opted for a slow siege, starve out the garrison, and settled down. But unknown to him, a large Spanish-Mexican army was marching from Veracruz commanded by General Count Juan Antonio Carreiro. Carriero led 260,000 troops from Spain, the Phillippines, New Granada and Peru****** into the interior, then marched north, where Corpus Christi was restored to Spanish obedience at the cost of 110,000 people-10,000 of them Tejan militia assigned as garrison. News of the recapture and massacre at Corpus Christi reached Royal Columbia (the new capital of the Kingdom of America located near OTL Cincinnati) and antagonized Parliament (still meeting in Philadelphia). George II, acting to protect Tejas and force Charles IV to accept overtures for peace, issued the royal decree that instigated the First Spanish-American War. Harrison's 2nd RAA would march west toward the Pacific Coast. Jackson would have the tougher task of taking Nuevo Laredo and Veracruz in order to cut off Spanish military buildup. For the Army of Yucatan, George II issued the edict that the Mayans' territorial and ethnic objectives were to be accomodated. It was hoped that once the Mayans gained their objectives, they would support Wayne as he marched down the length of Central America and link up with the Maracaibans. It wouldnt be until the Second Spanish-American War later that Wayne would in fact reach Panama.

The Aztec Uprising grew more formidable for Marquina, who was reduced to conscripting prisoners, vagabonds, and even teenage boys to try and combat the rebels as his professional soldiers fought to turn back the Mayan,. Tejan, and American invaders. Carriero, meantime, had marched to take position 15 miles from Nuevo Laredo, where his opponent Houston remained bogged down due to lack of adequate artillery. Choosing to engage him after his men had been fed and rested, Carriero bunked his men down for the evening. At 4 am the next morning, Carriero gave the order to attack the Tejans while they were still sleeping. Houston was awakened by the sounds of his men's throats getting slit and scrambled the rest for an attack, but by then he had lost 7,000 men. Carriero pressed his attack, knowing Houston lacked cannon to drive them back, and Houston was forced to order a retreat after losing a further 5,000 men. Carriero had the option to follow up by pursuing Houston's rabble and utterly destroying it, but his advance scouts brought him news of the arrival of an American army under the command of Jackson. Carriero, determined to inflict another defeat on the Spanish King's many enemies, moved to take position just on the opposite bank of the Rio Grande, placing his cannon where they could cover the one river crossing available to Jackson and with the fortress at his own back. Jackson, seeing Carriero's men moving into position, sent Cherokee scouts to look for a river crossing further away. By 8 pm that day, they reported back finding a river crossing 3 miles away and hidden within a ravine Carriero couldn't see. Jackson formulated his strategy and decided to leave the larger infantry force positioned near the bridge to keep the Spanish focused there, while moving his irregulars, Native bands, artillery and cavalry to the new crossing. None of the Spanish were aware of Jackson's plan as they were celebrating their victory over Houston and their coming victory over Jackson the next day. As the sun began to rise, Carriero spied his opponent on the other side of the river, unaware that a smaller force had already reached the crossing and were making their way over. Jackson had stayed with the larger portion equipped with 3-pounder cannon. Thinking his enemy weaker than he truly was, Carriero roused his men and ordered them into battle formations. The first shots rang out at 9:30 am from the Spanish side, and while some casualties were inflicted on the Americans, there was no appreciable reduction in their strength, nor a decrease in their morale. Jackson countered with a cannonade which killed 450 Spanish troops. As the battle continued, Carriero was still unaware of the true strength of the American army he was facing. It was only when a simultaneous attack on the fortress protecting Nuevo Laredo and an offensive by bands of Cherokee, Creek, and Chickasaw warriors equipped with rifles, bows and hatchets shocked Carriero that he realized that Jackson had feinted him. Carriero was trapped between a large army engaging him and a part of that same army attacking the fortress. Instead of turning to engage the smaller force, Carriero kept his troops focused on Jackson as he saw the American as the larger threat. This meant that the fortress continued to suffer from the siege. Jackson pushed his men across the river, forcing Carriero to fall back. Many of his men, trapped by the attacks of the Native contingents, simply fled. Carriero lost 3,000 men to desertion, but was determined to fight. Jackson urged his men forward, losing 7,000 in the river crossing. Carriero's position remained tenable until Houston's Tejans-who Carriero and Jackson both thought had been annihilated-attacked Carriero from the flank. Carriero and his three adjutants managed to extricate themselves from their situation and flee but his men fought on until through attrition only 6,000 were left (they would surrender out of concern for the mistresses still in the fortress).

Harrison's army had conquered Santa Fe, Alberqueque, Phoenix and San Diego by the time of the collapse of Carriero's army. As he marched northward toward the mission station of San Francisco, however, Spanish resistance became more determined. A Spanish defensive army of 65,000 under the command of Major Jose Luis Durán had taken control of the mission, sending the priests further north. Duran knew that Harrison had few supply bases along his route and his men would likely be tired from their march, thus he ordered the well outside the mission station destroyed to prevent it being used. Harrison's scouts discovered the destroyed well, reporting their find to Harrison. With a drought raging in the region of California Harrison knew he'd have a limited time to engage Duran before his men succumbed to thirst and would be unable to fight. Choosing his ground carefully, Harrison formed his troops into three regiments each, with a force of 200 cavalry and an artillery battery of two 6-pounder and one 12-pounder cannon attached to each. He sent one regiment against the mission itself, while moving the other two into a position to challenge Duran. Duran initially chose not to take the bait, waiting just 2 miles from the mission and out of sight of Harrison. He had rigged the mission with explosives and as 2nd Regiment entered the mission, the explosives were detonated. Nearly 1,500 of the regiment were killed in the explosion. Harrison was horrified by the tactic and was determined to bring his opponent to battle. Taking what remained of 2nd Regiment and splitting them between the two others, he ordered an attack on Duran's position. Tired and demoralized after seeing their comrades killed, they nonetheless obeyed as their commander was a well-respected military officer. On 12 June Harrison opened the battle with a cannon broadside. Duran answered with a cavalry charge which cost Harrison some 400 men before the artillery fire drove them back. Duran, seeing a weakness in Harrison's formations, ordered his own formation to wheel right, in the hopes of driving a wedge between the two formations and contain one of the regiments. Harrison saw the danger and divided the regiments, which further aided Duran's efforts. 1st Regiment was nearly encircled before 3rd Regiment wheeled left and pushed forward, the forward cavalry units crashing into Duran's force from the rear flank. By dusk both sides were exhausted and thirst was setting in among Harrison's men. During the night, his scouts began reconnoitering for a water supply. They located one four miles from the battlefield and reported their find to Harrison. He sent supply wagons to the stream to collect the water for the men and soon morale was raised among them. In the pre-dawn hours of the 13th, refreshed and rested, Harrison's troops positioned themselves for the second day of battle. Instead of opening with cannon fire, Harrison found that Duran's troops had spent the previous night getting drunk after finding sacramental wine in the ruins of the mission. Seeing the opportunity to crush his enemy, Harrison offered a cavalry charge which managed to catch Duran off-guard, costing him 4,000 men. Duran roused his troops to battle and soon they managed to drive back Harrison's cavalry. Harrison quickly followed up with a bayonet charge which drove the Spanish back toward the mission ruins. Throughout the day, Duran tried to lead his men from the ruins, and each time cannon fire and rifle fire forced them back. As the sun set, Duran learned that his supplies were starting to run low and they had no fresh water beyond the destroyed well. Harrison pressed his advantage, using hit-and-run strikes to wear down the morale of the Spanish until many began to flee. Duran, seeing his situation as hopeless, finally approached Harrison through a liason, offering to discuss terms. Harrison agreed to accept the surrender, even going so far as to allow Duran's army to keep their colors and their firearms. In what would be a rare display of humility, Duran accepted an invitation by Harrison to dine with him in San Diego (Harrison even agreed to provide water and medical supplies to the Spanish)

Over the course of the next two months, American and Native allies such as the Navajo, Pueblo, Arapaho and Zuni helped to secure the Northwest Frontier of New Spain, thus allowing Harrison to turn his army southward. By 10 September, Harrison had marched his army into the core of New Spain (OTL Mexico). The objective was the port city of Manzanillo, which would also open the road to Acapulco. Carriero, having the chance to recover from his defeat in Nuevo Laredo, had built up a new army of 95,000 and determined to inflict a defeat on at least one of the American armies. He was in something of a predicament however. Jackson, who had also suffered losses in the conquest of Nuevo Laredo and needed new artillery as he had given his 6-pounders to Houston as a gift, was only 3 days' march from Veracruz, which would cut off Spanish reinforcements. Manzanillo was also vital to the commercial prosperity of New Spain in the Greater Spanish Empire and its loss would send the economy into meltdown. Forced to choose between military stagnation and economic ruin, Carriero chose the latter. Marching his army west in an effort to cut off Harrison's advance, he learned from his advance scouts that Harrison was only 9 hours from the city and close enough to set up artillery for a pre-offensive cannonade. He force-marched his army toward Manzanillo and reached the city just as the first cannon shots rung out from the foothills. Keeping a small force of 5,000 infantry to bolster the garrison, he took the remaining 85,000 into the hills to seek out Harrison. The American major general, however, was not easily lured into Carriero's trap. He left a force of regiment of light artillery comprised of four 3-pounders to bring Carriero close. He had his dragoons, Native cavalry and cuirassers formed into wedge formations with his more lethal artillery on the wings and the infantry in reserve. As Carriero's army reached the base of the tableland halfway toward the foothills, The American cavalry forces charged down the slopes, giving the alarmed Spanish troops little time either to fire or even form defensive lines. With the loss of 47,000 of his men, Carriero was forced to fall back to Manzanillo, which promptly fell under bombardment from the larger cannons he had not been able to locate. The American cavalry chased stragglers from the tableland, further reducing Carriero's fighting men down to 41,000 at the cost of 180. Harrison realized that with the survivors now joining the garrison in the city, it would be very difficult for his troops to bring their artillery close enough to be at maximum efficiency. Carriero sent an urgent message back to Mexico City, requesting instructions from Marquina, but due to the Aztec Uprising the letters never reached the Viceroy. Harrison, meanwhile, had settled down to a siege of the city which would last for a full month.

When at last Marquina received the urgent letter from Carriero, he realized that he needed instruction from his monarch. He drafted a letter to Charles IV which took three months to reach him in Madrid. Charles IV had by then fully decided on a war against America and had issued an edict to speed up shipbuilding in preparation for a transatlatic invasion. At the same time, Charles IV had sent orders to Castrillon in the Dutch Estates to prepare an invasion of Wallonia for the following spring. As a means of confusing the Americans, he authorized Marquina to enter into talks for a cease-fire on the basis of 'uti possedeis'. Marquina sent a rider carrying a message to Jackson under a white flag, stating his desire to enter into talks. Meeting in Veracruz-which remained surrounded by the 3rd RAA, Jackson and Marquina arranged a cease-fire which, while depriving Jackson of his chance to conquer Veracruz and Harrison his opportunity for Acapulco, did recognize American military control over the Northwest Frontiers and northern Mexico. Marquina refused to address the Mayan conflict, however, nor did he agree to Jackson's request for an extension of the cease-fire to include the Mayan Republic. Nonetheless, Jackson had no other options as his army (and Harrison's) had extended their supply lines further than they had planned for, and both armies would need to be provisioned soon. Jackson signed the cease-fire, then had a copy sent to both Harrison and back to Royal Columbia for the king and Ministeriate to review. He had a final copy sent to Wayne in the Honduran jungles.

By the time the letter with the document arrived in Honduras, Wayne had already marched his army into Costa Rica. He had managed to sway the Mayan Grand Council enough to attach a contingent of 4,000 Mayan warriors to his army and he was determined on the capture of the Panamanian port of Darien. Encountering modest resistance from the Spanish, Wayne continued down the length of Costa Rica until finally reaching the narrowest point of Panama, and Darien. The 5th Fleet RAN had sailed toi within sight of Darien. On 30 September at 6 am, cannon fire from the ships of 5th Fleet opened fire on the port defenses. Wayne, seeing his chance, ordered his artillery battery to begin bombardment from the landward side. With a garrison of only 1,900 and no chance of reinforcements due to the Maracaiban occupation of Cartagena, the city surrendered to Wayne, thus giving the Americans their only victory in the First War. As Wayne prepared a letter to send to Jackson, he finally received Jackson's letter announcing the cease-fire. While there had been no instruction to withdraw from Central America or abandon Darien, Wayne was nonetheless furious that the war had come to an end. Little did he know this was only temporary, but defiantly he chose to occupy the city and its port. This would lead to friction between him and Viceroy Marquina (who would only three months later learn of the capture and occupation of Darien).

In the short-term, America had essentially established a buffer-zone in northern Mexico and the Northwest Frontiers of New Spain. Programs were established to transform the military occupation into a more permanent administration. For Houston (also not a party to the cease-fire), the sudden abandonment by the Americans had left a bitter taste and would hamper for a time talks between Tejas (now Texas) and the Kingdom for incorporation. Denouncing the cease-fire, Houston pledged to assist the Aztec rebels in the Valley of Mexico. For Marquina, this was the chance to finally organize a counterattack against the Aztecs lay down defensive works in preparation for the next round of fighting with America he knew was coming. For Jackson and Harrison, this was also an opportunity, for it allowed both commanders to formulate strategies for a quick conquest of their respective targets to be followed by a convergence in Mexico City. The question of reognition of the Aztec rebels as a legal sovereignty remained unanswered for the moment, meaning only Sam Houston and Texas would provide arms and munitions to the Aztecs. For Wayne, the conquest of Darien offered a new port for supplies for the Americans and their Maracaiban allies in New Granada, as well as a safe-haven for the fleets of America and Maracaibo still active on the seas. For Charles IV-about to launch the invasion of Wallonia, this allowed him to build up his navy and military force for the coming invasion of America. On the eve of the new year of 1801, nobody in North America knew how bloody the coming conflict would be.
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Offensive and Defensive Aims of the Combatants
Offensive/Defensive Aims of the Dresden Pact
Spain - Charles IV had been preparing for the invasion of Wallonia when he learned of the defeat of his Pacific Fleet by an Anglo-Dutch squadron which had also faced a Chinese armada. He had been persuaded from pursuing measures against the Dutch only by the fact that in the Americas a larger threat loomed over his empire. Having lost the Yucatan, the Colombian coast, Tejas, more recently, the Northwest Frontiers, Charles IV determined to bring America to heel, even imposing his own choice of king on them and making them a puppet-state of the Greater Empire. To this end, the Spanish objectives were the reconquest of the Yucatan Peninsula, the Northwest Frontiers, and Tejas. It was only with the return of these regions, he believed, that the Spanish Empire could then weather all the challenges from Europe. Ideally, he also sought the return of Florida, Georgia and Carolina to Spanish rule, and had already begun preparations for a major cross-ocean invasion to achieve this major objective. While he was allied to the Wettin Holy Roman Emperor Frederick August I, he entertained the idea of a Spanish candidacy when the time came to elect a new monarch. A Holy Roman Empire ruled from Madrid would bring about the union of Christianity so sought after by destroying Protestantism. He could then bring the resources of a united Christendom to bear against the Muslims of North Africa and the Middle East.

In terms of defense, Spain was guarded from a French invasion by the Pyrenees Mountains. While France was held back by a geographical barrier, no such barrier prevented the British from landing an army in either Portugal or Galicia, aside from the Spanish Navy. Their holdings in Italy remained free of any threat, though the efforts of Venice and Sardinia-Piedmont to revive the Pan-Italian Defense League presented a possible future challenge there. It was in the Mediterranean Basin, however, that Spain was both more and less protected. More so because of their control of Sicily and southern Italy as well as Gibraltar. With Russia holding down the eastern Mediterranean thanks to their control of the Bosporus Straits, Spain had little reason to fear a Turkish attack. It was the disappointment with the Imperial Order of Malta's refusal to join the Dresden Pact that worried Charles IV. Malta's refusal had left a gap in Spain's defensive network (Hungary's navy was too small to be effective). Furthermore, while Wallonia would fully unite the former Spanish Netherlands, it would also expose the Dutch territories to a devastating French invasion or even a cross-Channel British landing. It was here where Spain would need to build up a defense in order to allow Castrillon to advance his army deep into France to capture Paris. It was hoped that only with the capture of Paris would the threat to Spanish ambitions in Europe be ended. In the Americas, the Aztec Uprising threatened the direct authority of the Spanish king and it was widely believed in Madrid that the Aztecs were getting assistance from the Kingdom of America, the Mayan Republic and Tejas/Texas. His biggest fear was that the Aztecs would capture the capital palace, execute the viceroy, and restore the former Aztec Empire. A loss as large as New Spain would be a crippling blow to Great Power standing.

Russia - Russia was on the cusp of achieving the restoration of unity that had been taken from them as a result of the Ten Years War. They had achieved their Great Dream of conquering Constantinople and establishing a presence in the Middle East, offering Russia opportunities to expand their influence into the eastern Mediterranean. At the same time, their victory against the Mongol Khaganate-in so far as they prevented the Mongols from seizing all of the Siberian hinterland, had also won for Russia a vast territory which had enabled them to settle Alaska (Alyeska) more persistently. Konstantin I had brought Russia to the point in which they could easily reduce the Persians to a form of subservience, advance into Afghanistan and potentially India. Though Russian efforts to bring an end to the Ottoman Dynasty still ruling in North Africa, Anatolia and the Levant came to a crushing end with the failure of their siege of Ankara, Russia still possessed a large population base from which the Tsar-Emperor could draw from. Konstantin I still harbored ambitions to conquer Lithuania and Finland and hoped with the final conquest of Novgorod he would finally be free to switch his efforts to those regions. Unfortunately for him, the Novgorodians had prevailed with the intervention of Sweden, whose Finnish territory was under threat. As the time for the final phase of the war approached, Konstantin I remained determined to seize Novgorod as a stepping-stone to the conquest of Finland-with the potential at a later date to impose its autocracy on Sweden itself. He also hoped that with the final push west, he could conquer Lithuania and hence destroy forever the former unity of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. For his southern objective, the final defeat of the Ottoman Empire remained his main goal, though he had already been given a crushing defeat in Ankara. Russia had no navy outside that in the Pacific region and though this was a powerful fleet, the fact that Konstantin I had no Baltic Fleet and only a small Black Sea Fleet (it was still considered powerful in comparison to that of the Ottomans).

Konstantin, for all his boasts about being the most powerful monarch in Europe, still had fears for the security of the Russian Empire. Mongolia had won a small portion of the Siberian frontier in what was a ceasefire which would end very soon. Further, the intervention of Manchu China in the conflict threatened to expand a future war to yet another front. In the south, their puppet-state of Sumeria was already reeling from a series of Persian attacks which forced Russia to commit troops to the Iraq front at a time when, following their surprise victory in Ankara, the Ottomans were preparing to break out of their Anatolian confinement. On the Novgorod front, the relief of the city by a Swedish army meant that Sweden would intervene if he chose to renew the siege. Already he was made aware of the series of agreements between Sweden, Lithuania's king Adam Casimir (renewed by his son upon his death), Prussia and Novgorod. Konstantin was also painfully aware that with the news from North America of the American purchase of the remaining British and French colonies in the northwest, American ambitions would soon turn to Alyeska. Already the colonists, feeling cut off from the Russian heartland, were agitating for independence and looking increasingly to the Americans for help. Konstantin I would need to send an army across the Bering Strait to crush the rebels and restore Russian authority in Alyeska (and at the same time intimidate the Americans into backing off). He was painfully aware of the fact that his armies would be stretched thin, and he would thus have to rely on his allies in the Dresden Pact to take some of the heat off him and allow him to thus deal with Novgorod, Sweden and Lithuania. He was uncertain of Spain's adherence to the Pact given their ambitions in the Low Countries and the Americas, nor was he certain he could count on Frederick August I with his ambition to consolidate his authority in Germany and Poland. King Nikolaus was his only real ally. but since his victory against the Hapsburgs, he had chosen to consolidate their conquests and showed little interest in destroying what remained of Turkish power in the Balkans. He would soon learn that Hungary had in fact begun negotiations with the Ottomans aimed at neutralizing the Balkans and thus recognizing Turkish rule of Bulgaria and Macedonia.

Saxony/Poland/Holy Roman Empire - Frederick August I had already begun to consolidate his power in Germany with the series of Reich edicts which gradually focused authority of the House of Wettin. As King of Saxony and Poland, Frederick August I was also concerned with eastern commitments. The death of Adam Casimir had provided an opportunity for him to solidify his hold on Poland, except that Wladyslaw IV had succeeded him after a brief interlude. The return of a Jagiellon to the Polish throne made it more crucial than ever to finally crush the last bastion of the Commonwealth, Lithuania. His main objective here was to extend his authority in league with Russia. He was also determined to reduce the power of the other German houses in such a way as to make them subservient to the House of Wettin. This had already been done in the case of the Hohenzollerns and Wittelsbachs largely due to the reduction of their haus territories (in Prussia's case almost to extinction, confining them to Konigsberg). The problem lay with the Rhenish archbishoprics allied to France, and Hanover-still bound by dynastic connection to Great Britain. He would have to deal with the Rhenish states first.

The Emperor-King's major concern lay with Russia. Having already forged a bond with both Hungary and Spain through their support of Hungary's war against Austria and the Spanish conquest of the Low Countries. But their interests overlapped with Russia's in Lithuania. Frederick August I wanted to incorporate Lithuania into their new dual state of Saxony-Poland, but he was painfully aware of the fact that Konstantin I, as an Eastern Orthodox Christian, was anxious about Lithuania's Orthodox population falling under a Catholic dynasty. Frederick August I started to rely on Charles IV for support, fearing that Hungary was already too aligned with Russia. Furthermore, with the south German princelings in Baden, Wurttenburg, Oldenburg and Hesse wavering in their loyalty and looking to France and Hanover, Frederick August I was growing uneasy about any clash with Russia which could bring the middling German states in on Russia's side and potentially even drag in France and Britain. As events were to show, he had little reason to worry about Russia, as the Spanish invasion of Wallonia would force him to defend his Spanish ally against the Dutch, French and British.

Hungary- King Nikolaus had moved into the Belvedere Palace after the Fall of Vienna. Having forced the Hapsburgs to flee to Bavaria and left them with only the Tyrol as their territory, he was content to administer his conquests. He left Bulgaria and Macedonia to the Ottoman Turks because he was fearful of Russian ambitions in the region. He had also entered into a trade agreement with the Imperial Order of Malta which provided Hungary's nascent navy to finally sail the Mediterranean Sea. He also forged the initial agreements which formed the Dresden Pact. But in his desire to guard against a Hapsburg resurgence, he failed to bring the magnates into line. There were constant threats of a magnatial uprising especially in Vienna which required armed intervention to quell. At the same time, Russia's push to bring an end to the Ottoman Empire meant that pressure was increasing for the king to join in. Of the Dresden Pact members, King Nikolaus had no objective aside from maintaining his rule over Vienna and the western Balkans.

The threat of a Hapsburg resurgence in league with Bavaria was enough to convince King Nikolaus that he would need to settle accounts with the Ottomans, hence the Treaty of Szeged (7 January 1801) which recognized the Ottoman administration of Bulgaria and Macedonia and essentially guaranteed that no Hungarian help would be forthcoming for Russia in its push to eradicate the Ottoman dynasty. He also made an effort to convince Frederick August I to limit his ambitions in Poland-Lithuania as it would likely bring the Hapsburgs in on the side of Wladyslaw IV. He placated the Venetians with the Treaty of Fiume of 15 January by which Venice recovered many of their outposts in Dalmatia, gained a favorable adjustment of borders in Istria and received guarantees of her status as mistress of the Adriatic. Removing a potential casus belli would prove to be beneficial when Venice (with Piedmont-Sardinia) finally revived the Pan-Italian Defense League to challenge Spanish hegemony in the peninsula.

Offensive/Defensive Aims of the Versailles Alliance
France-Louis XVII, who ascended the throne after the death of Louis XVI in 1800, faced a challenge. On the one hand, France still boasted one of the largest, best equipped army in Europe and aside from Spain had few enemies with which to concern herself with. On the other, the budget needed to maintain four standing armies and four reserve armies was starting to run low, while regional cases of price-gouging on bread and cheese made the parlements worry that another war would plunge France into a recession which could result in a revolution. They had barely escaped a revolution in 1789-1792 thanks to reforms. This need to provide additional funds to mitigate the rising food prices resulted in the decision to sell the Oregon Territory (L''Oregon) to the Kingdom of America for $3,2 million gold pieces. It was agreed, however, that the final settlement would not take place as there was tension rising with Russia over Alaska and America already had an army of 20,000 stationed in central Canada to support the French marines still in L'Oregon. The king, however, faced a dilemma. Despite the actions of Frederick August I in the last war and the new revolutionary nature of his regime resulting from his kingdom's defeat, there was still an alliance between France and Saxony (as there was also a French alliance with Bavaria and the Hapsburgs). But because now the former Elector had promoted himself to king in both Saxony and Poland and at the same time seized the Crown of Charlemagne from the Wittelsbachs, relations between the two kingdoms became strained. France was especially concerned that the consolidation of authority Frederick August I was enacting would lead to a unification of all the German states under a single ruler and disturb the balance-of-power. Louis XVII's generals, Augereau and Hoche, began to advocate for a more forward policy in regard to the Saxons, especially as it became apparent that Frederick August I had played a part in the Spanish conquest of the Dutch Republic and Flanders, clearly indicating that Saxon policy regarding the continuing alliance with France was coming to an end. Counsels were divided on where the priority lay, Wallonia or Italy. It was then that a young Frenchman of Corsican-and hence Italian birth made his debut. Nabuleone Bounaparte* (also known by his French name, Napoleon Bonaparte) addressed the war-council. He regarded Wallonia as of secondary importance to the main theater of Italy and pointed to Veneto-Sardinian efforts to revive the Pan-Italian Defense League against Spain as a means by which Spanish power could be crippled. The Minister of War, Maximilian Robespierre** agreed that a strike on Italy in the event of war would do much to damage Spanish prestige, but was adamant about ignoring the Spanish threat to Wallonia and potentially to the capital itself.

It was agreed that in terms of defense, the two French armies, under Massena and Bonaparte, would focus on the southern front. Massena would advance into Spain through the Basque Province, avoiding the too-well-known route of Catalonia. Bonaparte, with the necessary consent of Piedmont, would advance into Italy and engage the Spanish in Milan, as the bastion of Spanish power in Italy. Augereau and Hoche would advance to points just opposite Alsace and Wallonia, respectively, and await any Spanish advance. The funds which would be needed to maintain these eight armies came from the British treasury and alleviated the economic crisis, making it easier for Neckar to enact measures to regulate food prices to a fixed amount and stabilize the currency. On the naval front, it had been agreed after the fall of the Dutch Republic that while Britain would hold mastery over the Atlantic and Caribbean theaters, the Channel, North Sea, and Bay of Biscay would be monitored jointly by the Royal Navy and the French Navy. France therefore concentrated their naval buildup in the Mediterranean in preparation for the clash with Spain. It was agreed that a Franco-British force would be sent from Toulon and Marseilles to Sicily, where they would take control of the island before crossing the Strait of Messina to Italy. This army would march north along the spine of the Apennines until reaching Milan from the south, where it would be met by Bonaparte's army. The choice for commander of the joint army fell to a young unknown named Arthur Wellesley**. On the American front, a regiment of French Marines would continue to hold L'Oregon alongside an American army, in the event of a Russian advance from Alyeska. And in India, a joint Franco-British naval task force would begin the process of retaking the East Indies alongside a Dutch force, culminating in an invasion of the southern Phillippine Islands in league with an Anglo-Dutch invasion of Luzon.

Great Britain-For George III, the security of the Low Countries and the defense of France were the keystones of British continental policy. When the Dutch were conquered by Spain, many voices in Parliament raged against him for his inability to mobilize the Royal Army to defend the helpless Dutch. This was due to lingering concerns for the security of their remaining American possessions, as well as their Far Eastern outposts. With strong pressure now coming from William V and his exiled family added to that coming from Parliament forced the king to begin raising funds and troops. He also entered into talks with Louis XVII in Caen for the joint defense of the Channel and Wallonia as well as offensive operations against Spain. But Britain was also concerned for the continued sovereignty of the Ottoman Empire as with the loss of Constantinople to the Russians, they were in danger of collapse either from a renewed Russian offensive or internal revolt. To this end, subsidies were made available to the Ottomans to help raise new troops for the coming conflict with Russia and a British Mediterranean squadron made ready to sail to the Bosporus Straits to assist any Turkish advance in that region. In the Caribbean, a Royal Caribbean fleet would work closely with the RAN to defend the Mayan Republic and Maracaibo against the Spanish. Thanks to the connection to Hanover, an additional army could be raised to lend assistance and support to Prussia and even Austria. It was in the Pacific, however, that the Royal Navy would have the largest battlefield, between the Spanish Phillippines and the Russian Far East.

On the defensive side, Britain had reduced the garrison in Columbia to just 2,000 troops, which would've provided Russia with an opening into North America were it not for the Royal American Army. The arrival of 12,000 troops to supplement the British garrison offered safeguards. Jamaica was a different matter, as their garrison was only 1,900 strong, heavily dependent on the Royal Navy and the RAN for the majority of its defense. The Mosquito Coast of Nicaragua was another area vulnerable once war was declared, with a garrison of 8,000 and little chance of additional troops from either Britain or American coming to supplement it. It was agreed that this area would be sacrificed early on, so that Jamaica could be held-the expectation being that the Mosquito Coast would be restored as part of the negotiations later. Ceuta would also need to be held as Spanish Gibraltar was just across the strait, with a formidable naval squadron to block any British or French ships from the Channel to enter the Mediterranean. On the other hand, the refusal of the Imperial Order of Malta to join the Dresden Pact, their treaties with Hungary, Venetia and the Ottoman Empire meant that there was every reason to believe that the Maltese would not interfere with British and French naval operations in the Mediterranean Basin. In southern Africa, there was a recognized need to shore up the Colonial militia in Capetown, but due in large part to the new alliance with the rising Zulu Empire, there was little reason to believe that Spanish-controlled formerly Dutch Suid-Afrika could be divided easily. This had already been agreed with the Zulu Emperor Shaka in the Treaty of Port Natal (10 January 1801) signed by Lieutenant Francis Farewell.

Portugal-For Maria I in Brazil, the main objective was to return to Lisbon and reestablish an independent Portugal. While she had been successful in reasserting Portuguese rule of the Cape Verde Islands, the Azores, Madeira, and the Indian stations, her enemy, Charles IV, had seized Angola and Mozambique. Shaka had managed to conquer Mozambique from the Spanish before they had fully integrated the ex-Portuguese colony into their imperial system, and news of this had only reached Maria I two months later. She had sent an ambassador to Capetown demanding to speak to a Zulu representative and request the return of Mozambique. N'Gomane replied that as the Portuguese had allowed themselves to fall under Spanish rule, they no lomger held the land as theirs. The resulting standoff was only resolved when Britain offered to pay Maria I for the loss of Mozambique. Considering that she would need British support in order to return to Lisbon, and above all else eager to protect the Portuguese families now under Zulu rule, she accepted the loss. N'Gomane then made an unexpected offer ot allowing those families who wished to leave to do so, with the proviso that they be transported on British ships. Bathurst, the minister-resident in Capetown, agreed to the arrangement. On 7 February the Treaty of Capetown was signed between the Portuguese and Zulu empires, with Britain acting as honest broker.

Maria I knew that Brazil was surrounded by Spanish territory on three sides. She was also painfully aware that the populations of Brazil had made little inroads into the interior from the coastline. This left the Amazon region vulnerable to Spanish incursion. It was feared that unless the Republic of Maracaibo broke the back of the Spanish empire in New Granada, there would be little to prevent them pushing through the sparsely populated Amazon to reach the coast. The Spanish South Atlantic Navy was also still formidable despite the efforts of the Portuguese-Brazilian navy to increase the number of ships needed for adequate defense. She would have to rely for the time being on the British Royal Navy to assist in defending the Brazilian coast.

* Napoleon Bonaparte - IOTL he would be crushing the Austrian army in Italy and making his march on Vienna, which would lead to the Treaty of Luneville, a reiteration of the earlier Treaty of Campo Formio in which Austria was forced to accept the loss of territory but gained Venetia. ITTL he's already served in the Ottoman army as artilleryman and had returned to France just in time to receive a commission as general of the Army of Italy. This version of the army will in fact work in support of Austria rather than in opposition to her.

** Arthur Wellesley - IOTL he would be more better known as the Duke of Wellington, most famous for his role in the Battle of Waterloo. ITTL he's just graduated from the Military Academy and will be sent to Normandy as part of the Anglo-French effort against Spain. It is here that he reunites with Napoleon and they actually form a brotherly bond which will last until the death of Napoleon many years later.

Pursuit of Glory- Tim Blanning
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Revolutionary Wars Phase Three - The War Of The Nations
The final phase of the Revolutuionary Wars will be considered equal to the Napoleonic Wars of OTL. Therefore, many of the historic figures of the Napoleonic Wars will also be featured here. Military numbers will also more or less be in line with the Napoleonic period OTL.

This war will be divided into a series of theaters covering the period of 1801-1819. The final end of the war and the peace congress will be done in a separate thread so as not to overload the pages. Theaters will be identified in bold and underline, along with the period which will not exceed two years.

The Low Countries (March-June 1801)

Castrillon, having received his orders from Charles IV now chose his moment. He knew the French army of General Hoche would be slowed by their supply wagons and hence not reach the frontiers of Wallonia before the 20th of March, and he was confident that by that time, he would have fortified Brussels and Antwerp, seized Lille and occupied the former Barrier fortresses. Marching forward from the Hague on 6 March, Castrillon took his 600,000 men into Wallonia, encountering only minimal French and Flemish resistance. It was upon reaching Antwerp, however, that he encountered a more stiffened resistance thanks to the British Royal Navy's Channel Fleet. Desperate to scatter the British fleet before the French could join them, he wrote a missive urging Charles IV to send Spanish troops over the Pyrenees to distract the French to the south. Meanwhile he ordered his men to lay down defensive works and prepare for a siege. For thirteen days, the port was subjected to an intense bombardment, which the British fleet off the coast was only too eager to respond in kind to, keeping the Spanish troops stuck in their entrenchments. On the mid-afternoon of the 19th, word was received of a Spanish fleet which had sailed around Ireland and Scotland, raiding and destroying coastal outposts to prevent their position from being discovered. Castrillon exuded his troops to commit themselves to the full restoration of Spanish rule in the Low Countries and be guaranteed lands and wealth. The British fleet, under Admiral Horatio Nelson*, realized that he was outnumbered by his Spanish adversary by 3 to 1 and ordered a withdrawal south to Dunkirk. With the port now open, Castrillon commanded a general assault on the city. By 8:30 in the evening, as the waning rays of sun sank beyond the western horizon, the Spanish had finally entered the port after crushing a group of Flemish militia, taking 500 lives at the cost of 250 Spanish. The city itself remained to be taken, but here Castrillon, realizing that he was running out of time, chose to divide his army. Leaving 200,850 to continue the assault on Antwerp, he sent the remaining 300,000 to Brussels. On 23rd March, this army-still under Castrillon's command, invested the city of Brussels, which was defended by a garrison of 20,000 French and 15,000 Flemish militia under the command of Jordi Van Moorleghem. Van Moorleghem had formulated a strategy of scorched-earth, burning the farmlands in order to slow the enemy's progress. Castrillon, angered by what he saw was deliberate waste of valuable farmland, now roused his troops to display a savagery much as the Duke of Alva had done years past. Forgoing a siege because of the knowledge that such a siege would allow Hoche's army, now 3 days away, to press the Spanish between a well-prepared French army and a well-defended city, ordered the black flag raised, showing the defenders that he intended to show no mercy. On the 25th, after preparing defenses to hold off Hoche's attack, Spanish troops charged toward the city, coming under rifle and cannon fire from the defending forces. In the ensuing chaos of the battle, Castrillon was wounded in the thigh by a saber and forced to take himself out of combat. Fearing his removal would demoralize his men, he handed his personal standard to his adjutant and ordered him to raise it high so his men would see. This move served its purpose very well, for the Spanish never realized their general was not among them even though his standard was visible for all to see. Fired by this, they surged into the Outer City, pushing Moorleghem's men further back until they were surrounded. At 4:50 pm, Moorleghem was forced to capitulate when the supplies of grain and munitions began to run out and the soldiers began to complain. When the report of the capitulation was given to Castrillon-whose leg wound was sewn closed by a Flemish seamstress who he would later take as his bride even though her husband was among the men commanded by Moorleghem-he repeated his order of no mercy. Moorleghem and the surviving 17,000 French and Flemish militiamen were tied to posts set up in the city square and-six at a time-executed by firing squad. The executions continued into the night, the next day, the following night, and the day after. Only after the last of the militiamen was executed did Castrillon order the Spanish flag raised.

Meanwhile, Antwerp continued to hold out against the 200,850 men Castrillon had left behind under the leadership of Major Borja Tomas. Flemish resistance was kept alive by the knowledge that Brussels would resist Castrillon, but when Tomas received news of the Fall of Brussels on the 28th, three days later, he knew Castrillon would return to Antwerp. Using the news, Tomas announced to the 37,000 defenders that Brussels had fallen and that unless they submitted to his authority, Castrillon would put the entire civilian population to the sword without hesitation. He allotted 6 hours for the townspeople to make their decision-long enough for Castrillon to return. Tomas informed Castrillon of his ultimatum, which met with some derision from the general, but he grudingly accepted. With only a minute to spare, one of the townspeople, a young maid, arrived at the Spanish camp bringing news that the city would admit a small force of 2,000 with Tomas at their head to receive the capitulation. Castrillon, sensing this could be a trick, rejected the offer and demanded unconditional surrender, sending the maid back into the city. Another six hours passed before she returned with the rejection of the new terms. Castrillon, demonstrating his resolve to take the city, had the maid executed in front of the startled and horrified militiamen guarding the walls. It was only as a result of this that the townspeople finally submitted. But Castrillon, outraged that they had rejected his ultimatum, now rejected calls for mercy. Rounding up the women and girls of the city, he ordered them held hostage as the men and boys were next rounded up. Forcing the women to watch, their husbands, lovers, brothers and sons were executed as punishment. For their part, the women were separated from their younger sisters, nieces, and daughters. Many of them were given as trophies to the victorious troops while the youngest girls were taken for the slave markets. This display of barbarity by Castrillon was so shocking that the fortress of Lille immediately submitted rather than suffer the defeat and humiliation of a battle with its resulting trauma. However, Castrillon's actions, when word spread across western Europe, elicited such fury from the French and British governments that a bounty was now placed on the general's head amounting to some 40K gold pieces. Hoche, reaching the former Franco-Wallonian frontier on 3 April, established camp 40 miles from Lille to both feed and rest his soldiers and await further instructions from Versailles. Due to the French invasion of Spain which had been launched 5 days earlier, it would be another week before those instructions arrived, and meanwhile Hoche used that time to reconnoiter the surrounding countryside looking for signs of a Spanish buildup.

Nelson returned with a larger fleet only to learn of the Fall of Brussels and the iminent collapse of resistance in Antwerp. Though he felt devastated by the setbacks, he remained determined to destroy the Spanish Channel Fleet (Flota del Canal) once and for all. Sailing out from Dunkirk with a smaller French squadron of 4 ships-of-the-line, his fleet of 17 frigates and 11 ships-of-the-line met the Spanish Flota del Canal comprised of 20 frigates, 13 ships-of-the-line and 6 Man-of-Wars near Ostend on 2 April. Seeing that the Flota del Canal had no experienced commander leading it, Nelson saw his chance, forming his fleet into a line. Sailing toward the Spanish, he ordered an immediate attack and at 3 pm, with cloudy skies threatening a storm, the British and French ships opened fire on the Spanish. Instead of sinking them, Nelson's goal was to render them incapable of movement by de-masting them. In the five hours that followed, the Anglo-French Channel fleet gradually gained the advantage over their Spanish foes. Losing only 7 frigates and 3 French ships-of-the-line, Nelson managed to de-mast 14 frigates, 3 ships-of-the-line and 2 Man-of-Wars (which were boarded and seized by the French to make up for their losses). Nelson then sailed south to attack a smaller Spanish squadron which had been plying the coastal waters between La Corunna and Ostend, sinking 3 and seizing 2 more ships, which he awarded to his French allies. Though the Allies had gained a clear advantage in the naval war, they were far from possessing command of the Channel as Spanish privateers operating from San Sebastian often preyed upon both merchant and supply ships and military vessels often separated from larger squadrons. However, despite the naval victory, the Allies suffered as Wallonia was now under Spanish occupation and northern France-including Paris-was now under threat.

On 17 April, after suitable time to organize supplies and reconnoiter for any sign of Hoche's army, Castrillon crossed the frontier into northern France. His first target was the naval base at Dunkirk, which he beseieged on the 21st. Nelson, expecting such an attack, had already relocated the British Channel Fleet to Calais, along with the French Channel Squadron, leaving a nearly-abandoned port facility to the Spanish assault. After 4 days of stout resistance, the city and its port finally fell to the Spanish. Using the same brutal tactics as in Wallonia, he ordered the women and girls separated from the men and boys, recruiting by force the boys, enslaving the girls and executing the men. News of the atrocities reached Hoche in Reims. Alarmed, he drafted a letter to both Louis XVII and the British ambassador in Paris to send reinforcements as he felt he was not prepared to face Castrillon. He received a reply 4 days later which promised to have a British Expeditionary Army commanded by Wellesley march to Reims to join with Hoche and that meantime he was to fortify his position in the event that Castrillon advanced on Reims. But Castrillon was determined to seize as much northern territory as he could before moving on the larger cities such as Calais, Reims and Paris. On 25 April he beseiged the city of Lens (Douai), taking it after only a six-hour resistance. On the 29th, he moved on Valenciennes-which he had bypassed in his intial advance into northern France. Without any shots fired, the city capitulated and was the one rare example of a city spared the fate of Brussels, Dunkirk and Antwerp. At each step, he fortified the captured cities to make it difficult for any French or British army to advance north into Wallonia, using conscript-labor from among the populations in a form of slavery. It wasn't until the 7th of May that he felt sufficiently secure enough to march on Amiens. Here he was met with a hastily assembled army of 40,000 commanded by Lieutenant-General Jean-Claude Vaugrenard. He knew he was hopelessly outnumbered by the 400,000 Spanish troops* commanded by Castrillon, but he was steadfast in his determination to slow the Spanish advance. At 6 pm, he launched an unexpected cavalry charge against a battery of artillery, managing to scatter the gunners before Spanish tercios drove them back with losses of 210. This was a feint, however, as his main force of 15,000 had begun their march on a battalion of Spanish pikemen who had found themselves sufficiently distanced from artillery protection as to be vulnerable. In 45 minutes of bloody fighting 4,000 of the 15,000 French troops were slaughtered for only the loss of 488 Spaniards. In a fit of burning rage at the audacity of the French offensive, Castrillon gave orders that the city was to be razed to the ground. Vaugrenard continued to hold out, sending sorties against the Spanish seige-artillery which continued to reduce his own defense force even while costing some losses on the Spanish side (at the end of the siege, it was recorded that 1,100 Spaniards were killed). Vaugrenard fought on until on the 16th, with only 900 surviving troops, he chose to commit suicide rather than suffer the humiliation of surrender to Castrillon (he would later be awarded the very first Legion of Honor medal). Castrillon took the city, slaughtering most of the population and enslaving the rest before setting Amiens to the torch. Now in control of a substantial part of northern France, Castrillon settled down to reorganize his supplies and plan his next moves, giving enough time for Wellesley's British army to arrive in Paris. From here, avoiding the Spanish scouts, they would march to Reims to reinforce the French 2nd Army under Hoche, though Wellesley would retain his role as second-in-command. Events in the south would, for the time being, distract both the Anglo-French and Spanish armies.

Spain (March-June 1801)
At roughly the same time Castrillon was marching his army into Wallonia, two French armies had moved to position themselves at either end of the Pyrenean range, Marshals Massena** and Ney*** each commanded 70,000 troops including 400 cannon. When news arrived on 24 May of the fall of Amiens and the arrival of the British Expeditionary Force in Calais, they began their march into Iberia. Massena had the better luck as many in the Basque counties welcomed the French army. In a gesture of friendship, Massena incorporated several Basque auxiliaries numbering in total 12,000 into his army, even allowing them to fight under their own banner (they ultimately chose to show their gratitude by flying both the Basque and French banners). They marched to the fortress-city of Burgos and on 3 June began the siege of the city. Responding to this challenge, Joachim Murat, now acting as second in power only to Charles IV thanks to suppression of those within the Royal Court who opposed him, now raised an army of 85,000 mostly Castilian and Andalusian, even going so far as to recruit from among surviving Morisco families. With Ney bogged down in Catalonia, Murat judged (rightly) that Massena was the more serious threat. Thanks to Basque scouts, however, Massena was made aware of the advance of Murat's army and he carefully detached 15,000 troops with 250 cannon and a wing of 200 cavalry to continue the siege while bringing the rest of his army into defensive positions to await the attack. On 6 June the armies of Murat and Massena met just 11 miles southwest of Burgos. In five hours of fierce fighting, Murat managed to inflict a defeat on Massena, who was forced to retreat back to the siege lines around Burgos. Murat followed and attempted to besiege the besiegers, but having suffered 29,000 casualties (compared to 17,900 casualties for Massena), Murat could not dislodge them. Receiving news of Ney's successful crushing of the Catalan insurgency and resumed advance, Murat left a force of 9,000 to harass Massena's troops and slow their siege of Burgos, then marched for Valencia-believed to be Ney's objective. Meanwhile Charles IV, not wishing to have his prestige usurped by Murat, raised a second army of Galician, Castilian, Berber and Portuguese troops numbering in total some 135,000 troops (of these, he would command 67,500, leaving the rest as reserves) and advanced to link with the 9,000 troops left by Murat. His intention was to crush Massena so brutally that there would be few left to flee back across the Pyrenees. Fourteen days after Murat left to proceed to Valencia, Charles IV's army made contact with the 9,000 Castilian and Andalusian troops, raising his total to 76,500. In the second Battle of Burgos, Charles IV failed to take advantage of a breach in the defenses of Massena's Basque auxiliaries and it almost spelled disaster for the king. But by quickly rallying his sturdy Castilians, Charles IV finally managed to drive apart the Basque and Gascon regiments and open a corridor into the city while at the same time surrounding both groups and cutting them off further from French reinforcement. Massena, seeing his position now vulnerable, ordered an immediate retreat, which quickly became a rout as Charles IV's army began to assault the entire French formation. Massena lost an additional 18,000 killed and 1,100 taken captive, while Charles IV lost 3,500. By mid-June, Massena had retreated back into Navarre and began fortifying his forward positions, in expectation that Charles IV would pursue and finish off his army before advancing in his turn into France. Two days after the Second Battle of Burgos, Ney and Murat clashed 7 miles north of Valencia. After having the initial advantage in the opening moments of the battle, Ney foolishly held back his cavalry thinking Murat close to defeat. Thanks to Catalan resistance, however, Murat turned the tables on his French opponent and pressed his army to the coast. Trapped between a fortified city, an enemy army and a population resentful of the recent suppression, Ney stubbornly fought on until by the early morning of the 23rd, he began to slip his surviving army away. Murat, alerted to Ney's movements thanks to unruly horses, launched a final attack and broke all remaining resistance. Ney lost 30,000 killed while Murat lost only 8,000 men. As was the case with Massena, Ney retreated to Barcelona, suppressing another Catalan insurgency and began to fortify his forward positions. By the end of June, both French armies, which had showed such promise at the beginning, were now desperate to hold on to their bridgeheads in Iberia, and with Britain for the time being committed to the restoration of the Dutch Republic and no immediate relief coming from the German League, the French began to worry for the defense of Toulon, Marseilles, Bordeaux and Roussillon.

Italy (March-July 1801)
Even before the invasion of Spain was launched, Augereau and Bonaparte had already advanced into Italy. Receiving support from the King, Charles Emmanuel IV. On 18 March, the two armies arrived in the Plain of Lombardy, just 20 miles west of Milan. The Spanish commander of the Milan garrison, Milanese-born Filippo Pergola, alarmed by the sudden appearance of two French armies on the Plain, sent messengers north to the Empire and south to Naples requesting reinforcement. At the same time he called up the garrisons in Parma, Piacenza, Guastalla and Mantua, bringing his total force to 100,000. Finding themselves outnumbered now by their Spanish foe, Augereau and Bonaparte now formulated a daring plan. Augereau would reduce his army of 90,000 down to a mere 45,000-with the bulk of these going to Bonaparte. For his part, Bonaparte ordered half his army to don civilian attire. Enacting a communication blackout to prevent leaks, Bonaparte accepted the 45,000 from Augereau (this increased his total from 95,000 to 140,000 with portions of that army disguised as civilians. Next, Augereau brought his army to Novara and issued false requests for reinforcements. Bonaparte had meanwhile quietly moved his army to Pavia, placing him in position to advance on a Parma in which the garrison had been greatly reduced in favor of the defense of Milan. Pergola saw his chance to gain a victory over the French and (as it turned out, foolishly) sent a second messenger northward to counter his previous request for assistance. As he marched west to meet Augereau's army on 27 March, Bonaparte used the distraction to his advantage, marching on Parma. With a garrison now reduced to a mere 20,000, the Spanish and Parmese force was unable to prevent Bonaparte from taking the city on the 29th despite their best efforts. Bonaparte lost 1,330 killed while the Parmese and their Spanish overlords lost 16,000 killed and 900 captured. Suppressing remaining resistance in the city, Bonaparte sent 50,000 troops back northwest to Novara, which arrived just in time to give a major advantage to Augereau in the Battle of Novara. Learning of the capture of Parma by Bonaparte (who Pergola believed had simply fled back to Marseilles), the Spanish commander had become concerned for the safety of Milan and tried to fight a rear-guard action, but was soon forced to stand and fight. After a six-hour battle in which Augereau lost 2,000 killed, Pergola was forced to retreat to Milan, having suffered 27,000 killed and 3,000 taken prisoner. Arriving in Milan, Pergola passed a Conscription Edict, forcing males between 15-40 to join the army. This allowed him to rebuild his force to 97,000. Augereau advanced from Novara while Bonaparte advanced from Parma, placing Milan under a double-siege on 3rd April which lasted for nearly the entire month as efforts by Milanese irregulars to break the siege were defeated with heavy losses. However, on the 27th a Parmese uprising forced Bonaparte to withdraw to subjugate the inhabitants, leaving a somewhat weakened Augereau to continue the siege of Milan. Pergola saw his chance and on the 30th at 6 am, he launched an attack designed not to crush Augereau so much as to break out of Milan. It was hoped once he broke his army out of the city, he could then wheel about and slam into Augereau's army, which would be trapped between his army and the city garrison. Once Augereau was crushed, he could then march south to deal with Bonaparte. For four hours, Pergola's men attempted to break out, only to be driven back by Augereau's men. Pergola was losing men, but so too was the Frenchman. Two more breakout attempts were made on 1st and 3rd May, by which point Augereau was down to roughly 23,000 men while Pergola lost 24,000 men. At the point of exhaustion, both men agreed a truce to tend to the wounded on both sides. This truce also allowed Bonaparte to return from Parma after suppressing the uprising through a combination of bribery and military repression. On 6 May, due to the concerns about the threat of a Spanish landing in Toulon or Marseilles and with Hoche trapped in Reims by Castrillon's slash-and-burn attrition campaign in northern France, Augereau was recalled to France along with 500 of his best men, the rest being transferred to Bonaparte's command. Bolstered by this, Bonaparte determined to launch an all-out attack on Milan. On 11 May, after making the necessary preparations, Bonaparte ordered the attack. A brief skirmish outside the walls, which resulted in a gate being left open, was quickly followed by a full advance, with street-by-street fighting often devolving into hand-to-hand combat or even the use of fruits and vegetables as weapons in cases where the combatants ran out of ammunition. It was not until the 13th, with Pergola and 800 of his men fleeing the city and going north into the Alpine foothills, that Bonaparte finally took the city, accepting its surrender from the Mayor of Milan. He detached 15,000 troops to hold Parma, in expectation of an eventual Spanish attempt to reconquer their duchies. In total, Pergola lost an additional 40,000 killed and 13,000 taken captive (with the rest scattering into the countryside). Bonaparte by contrast lost 12,500 out of a total of 112,500. For the next month, Bonaparte would exact conscriptions and other contributions from the people of Milan while at the same time rebuilding and strengthening the defenses . By the 1st of July, Bonaparte was in an unassailable position with clear paths either northeast to render assistance to the Austrians, or south to Naples. The victories at Novara, Parma and Milan had another effect, for it enabled Venice and Sardinia-Piedmont to begin to rebuild the Pan-Italian Defense League and even convinced the Pope to at least provide substantial funds to the creation of a League Army which would enter Parma as allies of Bonaparte.

Middle East (Mid-December 1801 - February 1802)
In the wake of the Russian defeat at Ankara, the Ottomans began to see an influx of warriors from all corners of the empire and even beyond it. Berbers, Arabs, Kurds, Assyrians, Omanis, even Persians and Maltese volunteers were soon flocking to Ankara. Selim III, seeing a historic opportunity to finally crush the Russians once and for all, now began to raise armies. His surviving army, still 190,000 strong, received an additional 30,000 troops-mainly Egyptian, Palestinian and Assyrian-bringing the total to 220,000. In addition he created two new armies of approximately 120,000 and 140,000 respectively. He designated his largest army the Army of Stanbul, with his second largest designated the Army of the Caucasus and his third the Army of the Tigris. Throughout the month of November, as the Topijis were trained by French and British officers requested by the sultan, Selim III faced the choice of who would lead the armies. He finally settled on three individuals who had military experience: Suleiman Reis from Anatolia, Hassan Omar from Tripoli and Kose Mustafa from Bulgaria. Of the three prospective generals, Hassan Omar had experience in mountain and desert combat and was thus suited to lead the Army of the Caucasus. Kose Mustafa had acquired combat experience in the Middle East during the Russo-Persian invasion of Mesopotamia and also knew Persian combat techniques. Further, he was respected by the Persians and would thus be valuable in the coming campaign against Sumeria in alliance with Persia. Suleiman Reis was chosen because of both his familiarity with Constantinople and the fact that under his namesake (Suleiman the Magnificent) the Ottoman Empire had been at the zenith of its power. Selim III ordered Kose Mustafa to travel to Damascus with his army, then proceed through Sumerian territory to the Persian camp to seek an alliance with the Shah, Faith-Ali. His arrival at the Persian camp on 9 December was initially greeted with consternation from the Persians, who believed the Ottomans and Sumerians were allies. But his respect for the fighting skills of the Persians quickly won them over and convinced the Shah to hear the Ottoman proposals. After a few hours, Faith-Ali made a counterproposal amounting to nothing less than a major population transfer. This was the only addition to the original Turkish offer of alliance, but it came with the proviso that the Sultan and Shah would need to meet face-to-face to delineate the final boundaries between the empires after the war. With this agreement-in-principle, Kose Mustafa returned to Sivas (where Selim III had taken his own army of 70,000). At 3 am on the morning of 15 December after consulting astrologers who provided encouraging signs, Selim III launched his offensive into Mesopotamia.

The Sumerians had few garrisons on the western border as they believed that their overlord Russia would conquer Ankara, execute the Ottoman sultan and his family and break up the empire. Thus there were few troops to oppose Selim III and Kose Mustafa as they advanced from Sivas, through Palmyra and Raqqa and straight to Baghdad. The city was taken on the 18th with little resistance. While the Sultan issued firmans in the city, Kose Mustafa marched his army north to liberate Mosul and Tikrit-again with little resistance from the surprised garrisons when faced with the Turkish army. It was in Tikrit that Faith-Ali, Kose Mustafa and Selim III met on the 22nd to formalize their alliance and finalize the terms. It was agreed that the Shi'ite populations in Iraq, Assyria and Basra would be allowed to emigrate to Persia if they so desired. For those who chose to stay, an indefinite tax exemption would be decreed. In addition, Shi'ite holy sites would be guaranteed, with pilgrimage rights for the Shi'ites both in Iraq and Persia. Lastly, both rulers agreed not to enter separate peace talks with Russia without having a representative from the other empire present. In this way, there would be a united front presented to Russia. As Selim III made his journey back to Baghdad, an informant alerted him to a buildup of Sumerian and Russian forces along the Persian Gulf coast near Kuwait City. It was possible they were reinforcing their Persian front, given that they had yet to learn of the Fall of Baghdad or the Conquest of Mosul. But as he was not taking any chances, Selim III led his army south past the ancient Sumerian ziggurats toward Kuwait City. On the 27th at 3 pm, Selim III's army met the Sumerian-Russian force of 30,000 just outside Kuwait City, surprising them as they were not expecting to encounter an opposing army so early. In the three-hour battle, Selim III lost 27,000 troops but took prisoner some 19,000 troops, of which 9,000 Sumerians were held as hostages-freed only when they swore allegiance to the Sultan, and the remaining 10,000 Russian soldiers were bound together, beheaded, and dragged into the waters of the Gulf. Before returning to Baghdad, he marched his army on Basra and captured it with a slaughter of the Sumerian population of 30,000 (the surviving women and children enslaved and taken back to Baghdad).

On the Caucasus Front, Hassan Omar's army reached Tbilisi on 21 December after a 2-week march from Ankara through Trabzon (Trebizond) to Batum on the Black Sea coast (3 days after the Conquest of Baghdad). Receiving gifts from the population-which he duly sent to Ankara rather than keep for himself, he sent scouts to reconnoiter the Caucasus passes looking for any sign of the surviving Russian Army of Anatolia In the days since their defeat before the walls of Ankara and their humiliating retreat, the Army of Anatolia had suffered more privations than had been planned for. In addition, the transfer of Anatolievich to the Mongol Front had deprived them of an effective commander. Thus the Russians presented a suitably tempting target for the Ottoman army. After getting the reports from the scouts and suitable time for preparation, on Christmas Day the Turks launched their attack. 120,000 Russians now clashed with 140,000 Turks. In five hours of fighting, the cold, half-starved Russians proved to be no match for the Ottomans. Alexei Vadimovich, captain of the Russian dragoons and with the transfer of Anatolievich the next highest in command, was soon forced to seek terms from Hassan Omar. At 5 pm, with a looming blizzard acting as catalyst, Vladimovich and Hassan Omar signed a battlefield treaty, the Treaty of Colchis by which the entire surviving Russian army laid down their arms, their flags, and their banners. Vladimovich himself presented the saber to Hassan Omar as a gesture of surrender. The surviving Russians were marched south to be later sold into slavery aboard Turkish, Omani and Kilwan galleys or as domestic servants. Of the 120,000 Russians who fought in the battle, 40,000 were killed. 80,000 taken prisoner. Only 60,000 would reach their destinations in Ankara, Aleppo and Damascus as 20,000 died from dehydration, starvation, disease, or the brutal treatment meted out by their Turkish captors. Hassan Omar withdrew to Batum to wait out the winter storms and resupply his army. Only on 11 January, during a break in the winter weather, did Hassan Omar feel confident enough to begin his new offensive. His objectives were the capture of Grozny, Volgagrad and Astrakhan. As he began leading his army toward Grozny, the Russian government became increasingly alarmed as it was likely the Turks would win the Chechens to their side and at the same time deprive Konstantin I and his armies in Central Asia of their Chechen irregulars. A hastily raised army of 100,000 was sent under the command of Major Fyodor Valeryevich-whose only successful engagement was during the Ten Years War in the Crimea campaign. While he was an expert on static defense, his orders were to advance and push the Turks back across the Caucasus and establish a salient until additional troops could be freed from other fronts-which was a tactic he failed at. Known to be pushy to the point of abusive, Valeryevich was often a drunkard and exhibited extreme homosexual tendencies (even imprisoning those soldiers who refused his advances only for him to assault them sexually anyway). On the morning of the 12th, sleeping Russian soldiers were awakened by a cavalry charge by Arab and Assyrian horsemen acting as bashi-bazouks for the main Turkish offensive. Valeryevich had failed to set up a proper watch during the night and thus was unaware that during the moonless night, the Turks had set up their artillery batteries quietly in a semi-circle around the Russian camp. The Arabs and Assyrians were mainly to cause confusion among the Russians-though they did kill 458 at the cost of 88 of their own. With panic now spreading across the camp and half-awake Russian troops stumbling for their rifles, the Turkish cannonade began. Valeryevich tried to rally his men to make a more consolidated stand, but he was struck in the face with shrapnel from a cannon blast which tore a gash deep and wide enough that according to an eyewitness, "it looked as though he were half-smiling". He was carried back to Grozny-where he'd live just long enough to be witness to its fall to the Turks before a group of Chechen militiamen armed with scimitars and pistols broke into the field hospital, killing the doctor, his staff, several dozen other patients before locating the morphine-addled Valeryevich (they would drag him out to the field, bind his arms and legs to stakes, then take their time cutting him up in such a way that he died only 16 days later not from blood loss, but from the ravages of scavenging wolves). With the withdrawal of Valeryevich, morale plummeted. Though many in his army hated him for his often brutal forms of punishment and his obsession with hardcore sexual activities with unwilling younger soldiers, his loss nonetheless was a critical and ultimately fatal blow to Russia's effort to keep the Turks bound by the Caucasus. For the Ottomans, the loss of 78,000 killed or missing was a small price to pay, especially as with their victory in the Battle of Ossetia, the Chechens openly renounced their forced subservience to the Tsar-Emperor and rallied to the Turkish cause, bringing the mistreated Mingrelians and Circassians with them and opening the Don-Volga region to the Turks. Five days after the battle, Grozny was besieged by a Turkish army predominantly made up of Chechen and Circassian irregulars with two Kurdish horse and a battalion of Turkish artillery. By the 18th, Grozny was occupied by the Chechen-Ottoman force while the bulk of the Turkish army advanced deeper into the Don-Volga on their way to Volgograd. It was the advance through the Caucasus, however, that now alerted Konstantin I that the Turkish threat was far from destroyed and he quickly returned from the Central Asian front with 50,000 troops-forcibly conscripting an additional 20,000 Kazakh, Tartar and Muscovite irregulars before arriving in Volgograd, where he ordered defensive works to be constructed. News of the arrival of the Tsar-Emperor, coupled with the need to redress his troops, await reinforcements from Anatolia and restock his supplies meant that the last attack launched by Hassan Omar would be on the Russian port-city of Azov, which was duly taken on 28 January after a march of 8 days and a siege lasting 3 days.

Suleiman Reis marched the Army of Stambul (renamed the Army of the Bosporus) from Ankara only two days after the departure of the Army of the Caucasus for Batum and ultimately the Battle of Ossetia. Because the Sultan had kept his force in training even as he added to their numbers and created two new armies, this army had gotten a headstart on the other two. It was just a full week after the Battle of Ossetia that the Army of the Bosporus arrived at the ancient Ottoman capital of Sugut. After provisioning his army, Suleiman Reis continued toward the two larger cities of Bursa and Nicomedia (which had also been Ottoman capitals in the past). As a practical commander, Reis knew that despite having lost substantial troops in their failed siege of Ankara, the Byzantine Kingdom could still draw upon a reserve force of at least 30,000-40,000 in addition to the reserve Russian force of 90,000 stationed in Gallipoli and Edirne. He therefore sent a small cavalry force of 600 to reconnoiter Nicaea and the points between Anadolu Hisar and Nicaea.
Seeing that the Russian Bosporus Squadron, an arm of the Russian Mediterranean Fleet, remained on station close to Constantinople, Suleiman Reis designed a new strategy which would catch the Russian fleet in a crosshair. He gathered engineers from Bursa and Nicomedia and began construction on a tower-fort which was to be named Osman Kalesi or "Castle of Osman". In what was considered a record time (17 January), the fort was completed. During the construction period, cannons were forged in the founderies in the interior of Anatolia and transported by oxen to the construction site. The smaller of the assorted cannon were then placed at the top of the tower, while ramps allowed the larger cannon to be hauled into the structure. This now allowed the Ottomans to fire cannons with a 360 degree field of view and at various levels of height. He then had some engineers-escorted by Anatolian irregulars and a sipahi force of 400-sent to strengthen the walls and defenses of Anadolu Hisar before taking possession of that fortress as well. With these preparations made, Suleiman Reis granted several days of rest and feasting for his troops as reward for their work and a way of motivating them in the coming campaign, which he determined would not begin until March of the following year to allow the armies from the other fronts to arrive. Throughout the period, some skirmishing would take place between the various scout parties of the opposing sides, with the Russians only belatedly awaking to the threat to their prize city.

Coastal South America (September 1801 - January 1802)
The Republic of Maracaibo had held lands stretching from Guiana to the Isthmus of Panama, mainly due to assistance from the Royal American Navy. Before the First Spanish-American War ended, General Anthony Wayne had marched an army into Darien, capturing the city. With a base for both his army and the RAN and Maracaiban Navy, Wayne was in a strong position to advance into Colombia. The new Maracaiban commander, Blake Cunningham (the first fully Anglo Maracaiban military commander) had used the interim to build up a reserve army which soon numbered 300,000-even going so far as to open recruitment to the "Iberos" (Maracaibans of Spanish ancestry). News of this reached Madrid, and it was recorded that Charles IV went into proxysms of rage over the "treasonous actions", declaring that those who refused to support his Imperial mission would be severely punished along with the Anglos. His strategy, formulated by Godoy, of landing an invasion force in the Kingdom of America was designed to end American support for Maracaibo by forcing the Americans to recall their navy and army from South America. A second, slightly smaller armada was already in the Caribbean Sea, ready to land additional troops and supplies to aid in the war effort against the Americans, Mayans and Aztec rebels. As fighting broke out in Europe, many in the ministry were calling for Charles IV to recall both armadas and the armies they escorted to defend Iberia, fearing a British landing at a moment when the French had already descended upon Catalonia and the Basque Province.
Influenced by Godoy, Charles IV rejected the amxious calls and announced that "the European war will be ended in America". Throughout the summer months, weaving a path to avoid detection by either the British Royal Navy or the Royal American Navy, the Grand Armada besieged and occupied Bermuda as a precaution, to prevent a warning from being sent to the Eastern Seaboard. On 31 August, the armada divided into three battlegroups. Group A (Grupo Nueva York) sailed toward Long Island and Manhattan. Group B (Grupo Filadelfia) sailed for Chesapeake Bay, where an army would be landed near Baltimore then march to Philadelphia (where the Royal Parliament still met while their new building was under construction in Royal Columbia). It was hoped by seizing the city and capturing the parliamentary members, a psychological blow could be delivered. More importantly, it would force the Americans to divert troops to retake the city and leave their real objectives, Jacksonville, Savannah, and Charleston open. This objective would be left to Group C (Grupo Sabana), A second armada, just over half the size of the Grand Armada, had already entered Caribbean waters and landed troops in Veracruz prior to the First Spanish-American War. Now they were transferred to Quibdo (crossing the isthmus of Panama on foot while the fleet sailed back to Puerto Rico). These were soon joined by regiments from the Viceroyalty of Peru, the Captaincy-General of Patagonia and the Viceroyalty of Rio de La Plata until it had grown to a formidable army of 155,000. Commanded by Major-General Victor Castrillón (whose brother was at this moment entering northern France on his campaign of scorched earth). His plan was to attack Medellin and force the Maracaibans to divert troops from Cartagena, For this purpose, he had recruited knights from the various Iberian crusading orders and formed them into a flying regiment autonomous of his main army. On 16 September, as Grupo Nueva York began its final approach to Long Island Sound, V. Castrillon began his march to Cartagena, utilizing the mountainous terrain to hide his own movements while his flying cavalry regiment began their attack on Medellin.

Lieutenant-Commander Cunningham had meantime sent scouts to the south, west, and east in the hope of catching the Spanish before they got too close to Cartagena to mount a successful defense. At 2:30 am on the morning of 22 September, a group of 100 scout cavalry came into visual contact with V. Castrillon's army. Silently making their way in parallel with the enemy, these scouts were able to assess their strength and number of cannons being brought up. They made their way back at 11:50 am after taking an evasive-filled return route to confuse any potential Spanish scouts. At the same time as they were winding their way back, Medellin came under attack by the flying cavalry regiment V Castrillon had sent as a feint. Small groups of refugees from the beleagured town made their way into Cartagena with reports on the attack. Many of the Anglo military officers wanted to send a large force to relieve Medellin, but Cunningham rightly deduced the true nature of the feint and held back from sending assistance. However, the Royal American Marines commander, Thomas Maisley, pushed for a force to be sent south and ultimately Cunningham relented. Maisley and 19,000 Marines and Maracaiban volunteers immediately set off for Medellin. Fortunately Cunningham was still left with a more-than-adequate force to hold Cartagena, not to mention the presence nearby of the Royal American Navy and the smaller Maracaiban Navy off the coast and within range to use artillery against the imvadiing Spanish. On 23 September, the very day that the first group of Spanish invaders touched ground in New York Harbor and Manhattan, V. Castrillon's advance columns-comprised of tercios and infantry with bayonets affixed to their rifles, appeared. V Castrillon was wise in keeping his force just far enough inland to be beyond the reach of American artillery, but he also hoped that the Spanish D-Day invasion of the Eastern Seaboard would divert American ships from the Caribbean and leave only the token flotilla of the Maracaiban Navy to be assaulted by the Spanish fleet now leaving Veracruz Harbor. As his artillery batteries were being moved into place, however, he was treated to a surprise as the guns from the walls of Cartagena begin chewing the ground in front of the tercios. V Castrillon rallied his shaken tercios, then ordered them to take cover.

At Medellin, the American Marines under the command of Lieutenant Roger Whitman came into contact with the Spanish cavalry regiment at 4:15 pm. With no commander to rally them, the cavalry were easily scattered and the horse artillery they hoped to bring to bear on Medellin was captured. As the Marines pursued the Spanish, they were met by a force of 900 native Quechua braves and a regiment of 3,000 Portuguese troops coming from Brazil. It was revealed that Brazil-Portugal had signed a treaty with Maracaibo which recognized Maracaibo and offered an alliance as well as additional weapons and financial aid. Joining forces, they then chased the remnants of the Spanish force back to Quibdo before breaking off their pursuit and changing their objective to a decisive clash with V Castrillon. Here, V Castrillon made a tactical error which ultimately proved fatal to his hopes of pushing the Maracaibans back. In focusing his offensive on Cartagena, he failed to send scouts to confirm the attack on Medellin. Thus he had no knowledge about the defeat of his flying regiment at the hands of the Americans and their new Quechua and Portuguese allies. After 6 hours of cannonfire exchanged between the two sides, V Castrillon ordered the infantry with their tercio auxiliaries, to advance on the city. Cunningham, his cannon now depleted of their powder and unable to rely on American support as the bulk of the RAN were forced to withdraw to engage the Spanish Armada off the eastern seaboard, now ordered his regiments to march out to meet the Spanish. The battle for Cartagena thus began with a charge of the Spanish cavalry into the front-ranks of the Maracaiban 1st Army. Though they suffered some significant losses (1,800), they managed to inflict enough losses on the first two ranks of Maracaiban infantry that the survivors scattered, many fleeing straight into the field-of-fire of their comrades. Thanks to the dust kicked up by the Spanish cavalry, many Maracaibans died as a result of friendly-fire as the steadfast soldiers forming the third and fourth lines could not distinguish the Spanish for their comrades and opened fire as soon as they heard the approach of multiple footfalls. Cunningham, shocked by the carnage, ordered his men to fix bayonets and ready themselves for the Spanish charge. V. Castrillon now ordered his troops to rush the Maracaibans with fixed bayonets and the battle devolved into a bayonet-armed, adrenaline-fueled general assault, with sporadic gunfire and cavalry playing a peripheral role. Over the course of the next two hours, the fortunes of war swung between the Maracaibans-who had managed to drive the Spanish cavalry back but failed to follow up with a charge of their own cavalry, and the Spanish-who had punched several holes in the Maracaiban lines using their cannon but failed to utilize their cavalry to widen the breaches and encircle their opponents in small pockets. The battle raged into the night, lit by the Spanish cannon as the two sides continued jockeying for advantage. By the pre-dawn hours of the 24th, both sides were showing exhaustion. In terms of supply, the Spanish had used most of their ammunition but still retained an advantage, while the Maracaibans were running extremely low on ammunition and food supplies. Cunningham, seeing the plight of his men but unable to give ground to the Spanish without risking the city itself, began to consider an all-out final assault on the Spanish, determined to go down fighting, but then his lookouts located columns of dust approaching the rear flank of the Spanish army (the Spanish, for their part, were oblivious as to the identity of the newcomers, believing them to be the flying regiment sent against the Americans). As the first rays of sun began to highlight the eastern horizon, the silence was broken by cannonfire coming from the dust-cloud at the Spanish rear. It was to the great relief of Cunningham that the giant American Royal Standard now became visible, joined in short order by a smaller Portuguese flag and a banner of which he was unfamiliar with. V. Castrillon was awakened by the alarms rung by his men as the cannonfire began to impact their campgrounds. In the first 15 minutes of the engagement, over 200 pieces of Spanish artillery were either completely destroyed or rendered inoperable. The beleaguered Spaniard found himself unable to manuever as he was trapped between the garrison of Cartagena and the advancing American-Portuguese-Quechua army. Vowing not to give any ground, he ordered his subordinates to raise the black flag, signifying no surrender. With nearly all his artillery either committed to the siege of Cartagena or knocked out of commission by the advancing Allied army, V. Castrillon could do little except to order his tercios to fix bayonets and await the charge of the Quechua horse. In the charge, 1,300 Quechua horsemen were killed at the cost of 2,700 Spanish. The back-and-forth engagement lasted into the night until the guns suddenly fell silent. By the early morning of the 25th, the black flag had been replaced with a white flag. V. Castrillon had taken to his horse and attempted to flee. He had been captured by the Portuguese and was being brought back to Cartagena while his remaining soldiers were throwing down their arms-having discovered that their munitions had been stolen by the Quechua during the latter hours of the fighting. The Spanish were lucky as the Royal American 3rd Army commanded by Wayne had arrived with his troops. Had the battle continued into the pre-dawn, Wayne's arrival would've tilted the balance sharply in the Allied favor. But the victory at Cartagena would be soured by events on the Eastern Seaboard and would provoke not only the drive to bring Maracaibo into the American fold but to remove all remaining Spanish influence in the Western Hemisphere.
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The Invasion of 1802
Even as the Maracaibans were holding Cartagena and awaiting the soon-to-arrive Allied force to break the Spanish attack, the Great Armada of Charles IV had arrived. All along the Eastern Seaboard of North America, the Armada had already broken up into its three constituent parts and closed on their targets. Leading Grupo Nuevo York was an unknown from Leon Province in Spain, Lieutenant Commander Elloy del Valle. The 28-year-old had previously fought for Spain in their failed effort to prevent Maracaiban independence and had come to loathe the Kingdom of America for their role in Maracaibo's eventual separation. He had lost three brothers in that struggle and was eager to visit retribution upon the hated Americans for their deaths. Despite the pleas of his mother and the eldest of four sisters who remained of his large family. del Valle refused to be swayed. He was unmarried and thus had no real connection he cherished to the point that he would turn down this chance. He had sworn upon his brother's Bible that he would either see the Americans crushed or would join them in Heaven trying. He had initially rejected the idea of leading the Armada when it was bestowed on him by the king, but when the proviso was added that he would direct the attack on New York, then lead an imposing army west to Royal Columbia to personally force George II to abdicate, he relented. The worst part had been in making sure the large fleet evaded British, French and American squadrons in the open sea of the Atlantic, and thus remain undetected. But now that they had passed Bermuda Island with no opposition from the enemy (and no need to seize the island to ensure it remained silent), he had given the order for the fleet to break into its three parts. He appointed the commanders of the two other fleets, then assumed tighter command of the fleet and army he had remaining under him. Having either lashed or executed anyone who opposed him (plus the three or four suspected spies rooted out), his target came into view on the western horizon. He ordered his flotilla to hold just outside of range of the shore batteries (which remained silent), then called a council of war in his cabin. Del Valle prevailed upon the other commanders on his plan to take New York City and began to lay out his strategy for the coming campaign, set to begin on 27 September.

The plan called for a three-pronged assault on the city. A group of 25,000 tercios with a battery of 200 12-pounders and 4 mortars would be landed south of the city, with a screen of 500 cavalry and 5,000 irregulars to drive off any American opposition. At the same time, another force of 25,000 with a battery of 100 6-pounders and 4 mortars would be landed in Connecticut and march northwest for the Hudson River before moving into position north of the city. Realizing that the terrain of the region would likely work against this movement, del Valle redirected this force to the east of the city, While it would leave a defensive gap north of the city, it was hoped that the focus of the defenders would be on preventing a landing along the shores of Manhattan. Here, del Valle proposed to focus the bulk of the army, with naval support on Manhattan. His goal was to have complete control of the city by the 5th of October, then fortify the city against any American counterattacks and wait out the winter before proceeding inland. It was projected that Grupo A would meet and link with Grupo B coming from Philadelphia by mid-March to secure the Mid-Atlantic region while Grupo C restored Florida and Jorjia to Spain. He gave orders that the following night-a new moon-would be the night of the landings. On the following night, in total darkness, both groups rowed to their respective positions, finding no opposition from the Americans. But a change in wind direction provided an omen of a coming storm and del Valle was now forced to consider either pressing the invasion or delaying it and seeking shelter to ride out the storm. Many of the other commanders urged him to raise anchor and sail the fleet to a shelter of a harbor, but del Valle was anxious to begin the attack before the worst of the storm arrived. At 3:50 am on the 27th, he opened fire on the coastal defenses of the city, destroying them before the Americans had time to realize they were under attack. From either side, mortars began pummelling the city, causing mass panic within as people began trying to escape. Small bands of American irregulars attempted to force the Spanish from their high ground on the eastern side but were brushed aside with heavy losses. By 9:30 am, the last of the coastal guns were either disabled or captured by small bands of Spanish marines deployed to begin securing the harbor. Del Valle lost two ships sunk and one de-masted during the morning operations which was later scuttled. As the mid-morning sky began to grow darker with the approach of the storm, he ordered the bulk of the transport fleet to make for the harbor to begin landing operations. By noon, with nearly the entire Spanish army now landed at the harbor, the storm brought its fiury, lashing the few transport ships that yet to be secured and nearly scattering the fleet further out. Del Valle lost an additional three ships to the storm's wrath before it finally subsided.

With the passing of the storm and a renewed urgency lest the Americans manage to either warn Philadelphia or raise an adequate enough force to break one of the Spanish positions, del Valle ordered a general assault. The marines who had secured the port facilities were soon joined by a force of 65,000 including 45,000 tercios, 10,000 cavalry, 5,000 irregulars and 5,000 pieces of artillery. With the western and northern/eastern approaches still guarded by the smaller forces landed previously, the Spanish had effectively cut off New York City from the rest of the kingdom. In six hours of heavy bombardment which saw large swathes of the city reduced to rubble, the Spanish Fury was unrelenting. Finally at 6:50 pm the Spanish tercios stormed the city to reach the citadel near the center, where they planted the Banner of Charles IV. Those Americans who either were not killed in the assault or who had not fled during the fury of the storm now found themselves ruled by a foreign power for the first time in less than a decade. Del Valle himself, using a skiff to travel to the port before then taking horse, arrived in the city to declare the city a Spanish possession. He spent the next two days executing those who tried to rise up against the Spanish garrisons and imposing martial law on the rest before finally sending a letter south to the commander of Grupo B. After two and a half weeks, the reply arrived and with the news del Valle now prepared to send a part of his force south to link up with Grupo B. He would soon take the initiative with a plan so daring that he deliberately chose not to inform Charles IV back in Madrid of the plan.
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