Quick TL: A Germanic alliance against the Arab Caliphate

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Mario, Dec 6, 2018 at 6:01 PM.

  1. Mario Well-Known Member

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    Jul 15, 2013
    Background

    After the death of Odoacer, no Roman Emperor tried to intervene in the affairs of the newly created Germanic-Roman entities in the West. Justinian and his heirs prefered to invest their forces in the Balkans, keeping Avars, Slavs and Bulgars far from the Danubian area and forged friendly relations with some of their Germanic neighbours, like the Gepids and the Ostrogoths, which gradually embraced the Catholic faith and abandoned the Arianism.

    However, the hostilities with the Sassanians in the East forced the Byzantines to launch exhausting campaigns against them at the beginning of the 7th century. The Roman Empire managed to conquer most of Mesopotamia, pushing the Sassanians to retreat to the Iranian plateau; but this effort, along with the increasing internal fights due to religious feuds (specially between Nicene and Monophysite Chrsitians), finally weakened the Byzantine positions in the East.

    The rise of the Arab Caliphate in the 630s crushed the Byzantine dominion in the Middle East and Egypt. The Sassanians repealed the advance of them into the Iranian plateau, so the Arabs concentrated all their forces in the invasion of the Byzantine lands: Mesopotamia first, then Syria, Palestine, Egypt and Cirenaica.

    By the end of the 640s, the Arabs had conquered all Armenia and reached the Caucasus. After that, they advanced unopposed towards central Anatolia, conquering the city of Iconium in 648. The Romans panicked, fearing that an eventual fall of Constantinople was approaching, and begged their Germanic neighbours for helping them.

    The Ostrogothic Kingdom, by 650, was the most powerful Germanic-Roman kingdom in the West, only challenged sometimes by the Franks. In the previous century, the Ostrogoths had imposed the independence of Burgundy to the Franks as they wanted to establish a neutral buffer state between them; they had also defeated the Vandals, invading Corsica, Sardinia and Sicily and reducing the North African kingdom to a sort of vassal state.

    The Ostrogoths agreed on helping Byzantium as they also feared the increasing presence of Arab ships in the Sicilian waters; the Vandals were also convinced by their dominant neighbours and by the fact that they also feared an advance of the Arabs towards the Vandalic region of Tripolitania. A third ally was the Gepid Kingdom, which the Byzantines had assisted many times against their hostile neighbours, the Lombard Kingdom.

    In the previous decades, the Lombards had expanded his Kingdom through most of Central Europe (Silesia, Bohemia, Moravia...), expelling many Slavic tribes from their settlements. Unlike the Goths, Franks, Vandals and Gepids, they had not embraced the Catholic faith yet.

    Map of Europe in 650 AD

    Ger_WRE_00 (FILEminimizer).png
     
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  2. Albert.Nik Well-Known Member

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    Mar 30, 2018
    So Visigoths and Franks are yet to join this alliance? They were very powerful that time and almost Superpower like. And Franks and Visigoths had embraced Christians by that time IIRC.
     
  3. Mario Well-Known Member

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    Jul 15, 2013
    Yes, but just for clarifying the 'balances of power' inside the Germanic-West Roman sphere (I will use GWR for referring to this area):

    - The Ostrogoths are the main powerhouse in the GWR. They are Catholic and pro-Byzantine: the Gepids are their main allies and the Vandalic Kingdom is a sort of vassal state.

    - The Franks are the main rival power of the Ostrogoths inside the GWR. They are Catholic, but anti-Byzantine. Their main allies are the Alamannic Kingdom and the Bavarian one (both are also Catholic).

    - The Visigoths are sort of 'third way' and act as a bridge between Ostrogoths and Franks. They are Catholic and neutral towards Byzantium. The Suebi are ITTL a sort of vassal state, but not absorbed.

    - The Lombard Kingdom is an outsider powerhouse as they are Arian and they are hostile to Byzantium in the same level as they are also hostile to the Catholic Germanic-Roman kingdoms. Their only allies are the Thuringians (also Arian).

    - Burgundy is a neutral Kingdom established as a buffer state by Franks and Ostrogoths. They are Catholic and neutral towards Byzantium as well.

    - The Anglo-Saxon Heptarchy is not involved in the continental affairs, but the British kingdoms are slowly embracing the Catholic faith as well.

    - Saxons, Frisians, Danes, Rugians, Geats, Swedes and Norse are still Pagan.
     
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  4. Max Sinister Retired Myriad Club Member

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    The Chaos TL
    Somehow I think the Visigoths and Franks wouldn't really be interested. Also, they had no diplomacy beyond occasional messengers. No ambassadors and such. Also, no news system that'd be quick enough.

    Or do you think that the Germanics would hate the Muslims so much for wanting to take away beer and pork?
     
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  5. Socrates Well-Known Member

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    Mar 13, 2011
    Who are the yellows just south of Sweden?
     
  6. alexmilman Well-Known Member

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    Apr 24, 2018
    Well, IIRC, kingdons of the Ostrogoths, Visigoths and Vandals were only superficially "Germanic": the term was applicable to the ruling elite which was distinctively (culturally and legally) separated from the local population. IIRC, the Visigoths were somewhere in a process of merging various groups only shortly before the Muslim conquest and neither Ostrogoths nor Vandals bothered at all.

    In general, an idea of a stable "Pax Germanica" seems rather unconvincing: surely all these guys would be at each other throats (with Byzantine inciting to diminish danger from the Western direction). It is also not quite clear how exactly would they, except for the Vandals, fight against the Caliphate due to the absence of the common borders (well, we can add Sicily and Ostrogoths but if there is no power vacuum this adventure seems unlikely).
     
  7. Max Sinister Retired Myriad Club Member

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    Did they have no fleet at all?
     
  8. alexmilman Well-Known Member

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    IIRC, the Vandals had at least some.
     
  9. alexmilman Well-Known Member

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  10. Mario Well-Known Member

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    Jul 15, 2013
    At first, as I pointed out, the only involved nations will be Ostrogoths, Vandals and Gepids.

    But we'll see how it develops...

    The Geats (supposed origin of the Gothic tribes which migrated southwards).

    Well, they have no common borders...yet.

    The Germanic-Roman kingdoms had very modest fleets.
     
  11. Socrates Well-Known Member

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    Mar 13, 2011
    No, not the beige south of the Swedes. The yellow south of Sweden. i.e what is now Mecklenburg.
     
  12. Mario Well-Known Member

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    Jul 15, 2013
    Ahh, OK. These are the Rugians (Rugii), which supposedly gave name to the RĂ¼gen island. IOTL migrated southwards and mixed with the Lombards when they moved into Italy. As this has not happened ITTL, I have made them to 'return' to the Mecklemburg area.