Odyssey of Fritz, the Turncoat Prince

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Alt History Buff, Jan 8, 2018.

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  1. Md139115 Bring back the Inquisition!

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    They are the traditional, ancient dynasty of Scotland with the blood of the f*****g Tudors in their veins. They are far, far, far, far, far, (repeat 167 more times) more British than that gentleman from Hannover who speaks better German than English.
     
  2. Knightmare Monthly Donor

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    They both hate England, for starters.
     
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  3. Threadmarks: Chapter 20: Perils of Conquest

    Alt History Buff Well-Known Member

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    Chapter 20 – Perils of Conquest

    Summer, 1741

    Even as his younger brother Augustus William, still in his teens if Fritz had it right, consolidated his weak grip upon Berlin, the exiled Prince Frederick mauled his way south through Albania. Like most of the Balkans, the land was mountainous and diverse both ethnically and in religion.

    The Albanians were an ancient people of uncertain origin. Until the conquest by the Turk, they had been split between Catholic and Orthodox. The Ottoman had been particularly oppressive of the Catholics. Like much of the Islamic world, there had been few cased of mass forced conversions but more of a slow conversion by economic favoritism (taxes) and advancement opportunities in the hierarchy. As such most of “Middle” Albania had converted by 1740.

    As the Habsburg armies filtered through the valleys, the oppressed Christians took out generations of rage upon the converts and the Turkish aristocracy. At once, there were large-scale “re-conversions”. In many minds and villages, the conversion was shallow and political in nature. It would be estimated that huge numbers of the “Muslim” converts secretly practiced some sort of Christian faith. Others, after Frederick’s heart, didn’t give a damn either way and were happy to go as the winds blew.

    Immediately, the Habsburg occupiers removed the old Ottoman governors from power, along with all Muslim officials. The new system mirrored that in the lands of the Bosniaks, a people converted in greater numbers at an earlier time. Related to Croats and Serbs, the Bosniaks were Slavs whom had provided a large number of resources to the Ottoman over the years and many high level officials and Generals.

    Within months of capture, the oppressed Christians started to settle old scores.

    Frederick abhorred such violence, believing peasants should not make such decisions. It was….messy.

    But he also knew the supply line was almost impossible to control without vast amounts of local aid. Some suppliers were delivered via the Adriatic but the Spanish could, if they bothered (which they didn’t and wouldn’t), put a halt to the shipments via the powerful Spanish Navy.

    Maria Theresa wrote to Fritz, offering to “aid” her dearest friend to regain his throne but the Prussian knew he’d burned that bridge long ago. Deserting his father was one thing. He might have enough sympathy that this offense was forgiven after the death of his father. But his ill-conceived “conversion” to Catholicism ensured the entire political establishment of Prussia would oppose Fritz setting foot upon Prussian soil again. Even his own sister and mother disowned him. With the better part of a year to consolidate his rule, it appeared little Augustus William would rule Prussia for the long run.

    Frederick knew little of his brother. They were years apart in age but he recalled a lazy youth of weak will and no discernable talent. He suspected Augustus would make a poor ruler in a land requiring an iron hand.

    Maria Theresa may dream of marrying the Prussian and “uniting” the two nations but Fritz knew that could only occur if he marched in with an army Maria Theresa could scarcely afford and Fritz would refuse to leave. Though he fought for Austria now, he had been Prussian enough to be sure he never fought his own countrymen during the late “war” with Prussia over Poland.

    Besides, Fritz was not likely to sire a dynasty anyway and Augustus or his heirs would eventually inherit so why not give his brother a head start?

    As it was, Fritz was having a fine time.

    Over the winter, he launched a daring night attack on the local Ottoman stronghold. Apparently completely unwary, his forces managed to kill the guards and throw open the gates for his army, all that was missing was the Trojan Horse. He gained another major fortress by bluff, a third by bribery and conquered a fourth by offering “free passage”. In the latter, it was commanded mainly by local troops who wanted to go home…preferably alive. They killed their Turkish command, threw his body over the walls and quickly came to terms.

    The odd thing was that these uncommon winter feats were bettered by his Russian counterpart, a Scottish-descended Russian named Yuri Leslie. Off the coast of the land of the Bulgars sat a might fortress and a dozen Ottoman war ships. During a particularly bitter winter week, the Russian realized that the ice had thickened to the point that he may march across. Within hours, during a blinding snowstorm, he raided the Ottoman warships and supply ships, burning them all where they lay at anchor. Barely a cannon salvo was fired in response before the flames spread. The castle defenders were so shaken that they asked for terms. Hundreds of helpless sailors burned alive.

    Leslie was willing to offer them to retreat to Constantinople but a band of Bulgarian levies within the walls rebelled one night and threw open the doors to a shocked Russian General. Between the Bulgarians and the Russians on hand, they managed to subdue the numerically superior Turkish garrison (again proving the poor reputation of the Turks in battle).

    By spring, the Austrian Army was in Macedonia and the Russians were in the lands of the Bulgars, each racing south for Constantinople. With Greece already in rebellion and the Morea under Venician control, it appeared that the Ottoman Empire’s days as a power in Europe were coming to an end.

    But the Ottoman had only just begun to fight. After years of utter chaos, the Ottoman managed to form an army large enough to oppose the march on the capital, even stealing from the Persian and Trans-Caucasus fronts if need be.

    By summer, the overstretched Russian and Austrian armies, with long supply lines and forced to utilize troops to control the local territories and put down pro-Ottoman resistance (mainly Muslim but some Christian), discovered that 100,000 moderately well-trained and armed Ottoman and loyalist European troops were gathering in Western and Eastern Thrace.
     
  4. Mexicano Banned

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    What size/numbers of Russian/Austrian military on Balkans?
     
  5. Alt History Buff Well-Known Member

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    45,000 each not counting large quantities of irregulars or enlistees from Wallachia, Moldavia, Bulgaria, Serbia, Albania, Bosnia and Greece. I'll go into that in future chapters.
     
  6. Deckhand Pull hard, she comes easy.

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    This should be amusing. Charles Stuart talked a good game but he was a bit of a military bonehead, and not much of a leader overall. Also the French just landed in the worst part of Ireland infrastructure wise, and landing in Spring means most of the granaries are exhausted from winter so foraging is a bit out. I think the French just threw away an army.
     
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  7. Jürgen Well-Known Member

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    One question was Fritz younger brother really incompetent, yes he doesn't seen a great talent, but honestly neither do he seem especially stupid. He seem like a average person, and they often did quite well as kings, if they was aware of their own limitation, and left the daily governing to their ministers, and kept a eye on the minsters not being too corrupt or incompetent.

    Prussia have been raised to just below great power with their gaining Royal Prussia and a third of Saxony, it seems to me that the Prussian king could just lean back and continued the policies of industrial, agricultural and mercantile expansion, the removal of internal tariffs and just wait for the next crisis to push for further expansion. Prussia here are in fact in a better position than inOTL, because there's no new war with Austria on the way.
     
  8. Threadmarks: Chapter 21: Hell or High Water

    Alt History Buff Well-Known Member

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    Chapter 21: Hell or High Water

    Ireland, 1741

    Maurice of Saxe gazed upon his shambolic collection of soldiers and shuttered. This is what I’m to use to conquer Ireland?

    Though France maintained a large army, befitting the greatest nation in Europe (and the world, though china may dispute that claim), the quality of the soldiers often left something to be desired. Six thousand French soldiers and two thousand German, mainly Swiss, mercenaries had landed upon the shores of western Ireland two months prior.

    A week later, four thousand Spanish made their belated arrival. A mild squall had threatened to scatter the Spanish fleet but most eventually made it to the small western ports in groups of two or three. It would turn out that several supply ships had chosen to turn around and return to Spain, cargoes intact, when they lost sight of their Spanish Navy escorts. They carried much of the Spanish artillery and powder.

    Still, Maurice was grateful that so many of his troops were present on Irish soil. Indeed, the same squall that so troubled the Spanish indirectly aided his own cause. The easterly winds ensured that the British Home Fleet, or Channel Fleet, or whatever the British called it, was unable to tack against the wind upon learning the invasion.

    Not a sailing man, the bastard son of the Saxon Elector estimated, assuming surprise was complete, that the English King in London (George II was actually still in Hanover, he had left his wife Caroline as his Viceroy) and his government would not learn of the invasion for seven days after the first French ship appeared off the coast of Ireland: two days for a rider to ride across the country, two days to board a ship and cross the Irish Sea and three days to ride from some western England port to London.

    In reality, Maurice knew the timing could be both longer or shorter than this based upon weather or bureaucratic dithering. He wasn’t entirely sure, once the Admiral of the Channel fleet was alerted, he could get permission to sail for Ireland. Honestly, Maurice suspected that political delays would matter more than the actual sailing time.

    As it was, the same squall that hindered the Spanish also slowed the English. Three weeks after the French alighted upon Irish soil and two week after the Spanish, the first British ship of the Royal Navy arrived to discover their quarry gone, the French and Spanish ships having disgorged their contents of flesh and steel and powder…and retreated out to open sea. Only a handful of French or Spanish ships even spied an English vessel and a total of three empty cargo ships/tranports were lost to the Royal Navy while a fourth merchant ship and a fifth-rate ship of the line were lost to the storm.

    On the whole, this was as good a start to the invasion as Maurice of Saxe could expect, though he did not know or care much about what happened to the fleet after his army was deposited upon Irish shores.

    Naturally, there was much confusion when the hodge-podge collection of allies landed. Maurice knew he’d have to spent a few days reestablishing order despite a deep knowledge that he was racing the clock. It was vital to move quickly before the English could respond by shipping an army from England to Ireland. He needed to rally the Irish Catholics quickly, form some semblance of a fighting force out of them and prepare to fight the English as far east as possible, preferably in Dublin, Belfast and Cork.

    The English had ruthlessly oppressed the Irish Catholics for over a century, particularly harshly since the expulsion of the House of Stuart. The repressions under William and Mary had been brutal. Under the House of Hanover, with the weak dynastic claim, political rights had been systematically and legally dampened even further to ensure “loyalty”.

    By now, the Irish peasants had been crushed under the English boot for so many years, Maurice was uncertain how they’d fight. He supposed he’d find out soon.

    It would help if he had a better symbol for the Irish to rally around than Prince Charles. The youth was neither stupid nor weak, unlike his predecessors. James II had so irritated his subjects that he was forced to flee. The claimant James III was little better. After an inept attempt to invade Scotland in 1715, he’d retreated at the first opportunity, leaving his allies in the lurch. Charles was of better stock than his father and grandfather but the man was still arrogant and abrasive.

    For some reason, the exiled Royal thought that HE commanded the army, no matter how many times he’d been told differently by the allies.

    Stupidly, he also continued to prattle on about how he was going to reconquer Scotland and England. Exactly how this was going to happen, Maurice had no idea. As best he could tell, there was barely a Catholic left in Britain. Unless Charles promised to convert to the English Church (which Maurice suspected he might if he thought it would regain his family the throne), this was not going to happen.

    The man even had the nerve to ask Maurice, should he convert to Protestantism, if the Saxon thought England might accept him. He could leave Ireland to his father and younger brother.

    Maurice merely pointed out that there were no, for the moment, French plans to invade England or Scotland, so the point was moot. Perhaps Charles should concentrate on Ireland and inspiring the Irish with his Catholicism. Though the Plantation of Ireland by English and Scottish, along with conversion, had greatly increased the percentage of Protestants, there was still a heavy Catholic majority, many estimated from 85-90%, all resentful that their own nobility had been expunged and all hope of government advancement lost.

    If there was ever fertile ground from which to recruit, this had to be it.

    As it was, the Saxon had plenty of time to organize as the English government was in chaos. Robert Walpole begged his King to return, which George II only did reluctantly. While the summer wore on with few English reinforcements arriving, Parliament spent less time recruiting Englishmen or Scots to fight than they did demanding that George II summon the Army of Hanover to fight in Ireland. This the King refused. He would not endanger Hanover by stripping it of its defenses because the English don’t like fighting their own battles.

    Finally, two months after the commencement of the invasion, Parliament authorized that the majority of their regular forces be transferred to Ireland. As this constituted only about 12,000 men throughout the Isles, this would not prove an overwhelming force.

    Perhaps more important than the less than intimidating English response was the time wasted while Robert Walpole and Parliament dithered between a strong response or holding their army in reserve for fear of an invasion of Britain (as many Parliamentarians feared). Finally, the Admiralty managed to point out that the Channel Fleet was the true defender of Britain. As long as it existed, no army would set foot upon her shores in any numbers.

    Meanwhile Maurice of Saxe’s army grew by the thousands as he marched steadily east towards the great Irish towns along the Irish Sea, Prince Charles grudgingly holding the banner of the Stuart Kings to rapturous Irish volunteers.


    West Indies

    After their victory in Antigua, the French West Indies squadron would deposit sizeable forces on the England possession of St. Christopher and Anguilla, two local, less important British colonies. Though not technically at war, the major Dutch possessions (largely rocky or arid or generally less desirable than the other Dutch possessions in the Lesser Antilles). By the end of 1741, the whole of the Lesser Antilles would be in French (or Spanish) hands save Barbados, which some did not consider part of the archipelago anyway.

    Charles Town, South Carolina

    The citizens of South Carolina decided to partake of the war effort too. An unruly mob of Charles Town citizens sought to invade Spanish Florida with the hopes they would be offered land grants. The problem was that the colony of Georgia was in the way.

    Founded as a “free colony” by Governor Oglethorpe (oddly, it was also a prison colony), Georgia was considering allowing slavery upon her soil when the South Carolinians stumbled across the border. They Charles Town men were so rapacious in “acquiring supplies” that they ended up pillaging two towns and burning (largely by accident) a third. Outraged, the locals would form a militia and attacked their northern neighbors, sending the survivors running for home.

    The debate over the expansion of slavery was momentarily over as the Government protested to the Mother Country and demanded action against South Carolina.

    For the most part, the Mother Country ignored them as they had bigger issues to deal with than some colonial spat.

    In the meantime, the governor of another British colony, Jamaica, determined not to sit out the war and started plotting his own scheme.
     
  9. Spelf Habsburgs and Hot Dogs

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    Sounds great. What's the historiographical term for this conflict going to be? I figure Austrian/Polish succession is too specific to the overall conflict. Maybe Fifteen Years War (or however long)?
     
  10. J VonAxel Really not a nazi

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    WW1
     
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  11. Mexicano Banned

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    Who could be monarch of England if parliament expels Hanover house?
     
  12. Spelf Habsburgs and Hot Dogs

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    Depends. Do you listen to My Bonnie Lies over the Ocean every night before you go to bed like I do?

    If the answer is no, and you're not a raving Jacobite lunatic like myself, there's a couple options. It might not make sense to expel the whole house but rather, as I suggested in a prior post, give the Throne to the younger son of the King, the Duke of Cumberland. If not him and you want to toss out George II's line in general (for some reason), the next male descendant is through George II's sister, Sophia Dorothea. Her eldest living son is...Fritz.

    Beyond that line, you'd have to look at other descendants of Sophia of Hanover in accord with the Act of Settlement. Fritz is also the primary male heir in George I's sister Sophia Charlotte's line. None of her other children made it past 1730. You'd have to go further back since they excluded all the Catholics of closer relation, unless they could convince one to convert. Without going to the Prussians (Fritz, his brother the King in Prussia, or any of their brothers) it gets very questionable.
     
  13. Mohamud Well-Known Member

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    Oh god oh god I almost messed myself when I read your post spelf. It would be glorious.
     
  14. Spelf Habsburgs and Hot Dogs

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    Yeah, I had a laugh when I saw that too. It would be a pretty clever twist - and I hope I didn't spoil it - but in truth it doesn't seem all that likely with the way OP is going with this. If he's too Catholic for Prussia or anywhere else, it certainly wouldn't go over in Great Britain.
     
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  15. Md139115 Bring back the Inquisition!

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    Let me revise my earlier post:

    His Imperial Majesty, Fredrich IV, by the grace of God, forever august, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, King of the Swedes, of the Goths, of the Wends, and of Prussia, Britain, France, and Ireland, Prince Consort of Hungary, of Bohemia, of Dalmatia, of Croatia, of Slavonia, of Galicia, of Lodomeria, of Jerusalem, etc. etc. etc.
     
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  16. jolou America is not France

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    It's not because you said it that it's true :p
     
  17. Alt History Buff Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, that isn't where I'm going but it is an amusing idea. I think I've see TL's that ended with Frederick inheriting both GB and Prussia.
     
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  18. RMcD94 Well-Known Member

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    By 1730 there is no King of England, the kingdom was dissolved in 1707 and indeed since James VI and I in 1605 had been referred to as Kingdom of Great Britain
     
  19. Md139115 Bring back the Inquisition!

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    Here’s something to consider:

    If the Jacobites are the rightful rulers of England, Scotland, and Ireland, then the Treaty of Amiens is null and void. That means that currently, Prince Franz of Bavaria has an active claim on the throne of France!
     
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  20. Cornelis Well-Known Member

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    That makes him the fourth pretender in France (Legitimist, Orleanist, Bonapartist).
     
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