Reconquista Basara: A 1632 Spanish-Tokugawa War TL

Chapter 1 - The Japanese Invasion of Luzon
The Japanese Invasion of Luzon
The Matsukara conspiracy almost died in a bath. Quite literally, a naked Matsukara Shigemasa was attacked in his bath by masked assassins before his spies could report back on the fortifications of Manila and Luzon. However, he was able to beat one of the assassins so hard in the face with a bath implement, the attacker slipped, hit his head on a rock, and fell into the bath and drowned. The confusion gave Matsukara enough time to escape the bath, aware that he had domestic enemies.[1] After holing himself protected by bodyguards 24/7, this attempt only strengthened Matsukara's conspiracy. Most modern historians suggest that the Tokugawa Shogun attempted to assassinate him, correctly fearing that his brutal oppression of peasants would eventually lead to a revolt. However, Matsukara's behavior continued. After all, he needed to extract every single grain of rice from his subjects in order to further his grandeur - ruling over a vast empire. As a daimyo of the Shimabara Domain in Kyushu, Matsukara was actually more familiar than most with the dynamics of the different Nanban ("Southern Barbarians") - he was in particular a virulent opponent of Roman Catholicism and was aware that the Dutch barbarians followed a slightly different form of Christianity than that espoused by the Jesuits he so loathed. All of these considerations played into his plan of conquest.

Coming into contact with members of the Dutch East India Company ("VOC") in their nearby trading post in Hirado, his conspiracy soon became complete. The VOC was currently locked in a colonial war with the Portuguese (who were in personal union with Spain), in hopes of trying to take over all of Portugal's possessions in Asia and gain control of the Spice Trade. However, the VOC lacked in resources and their previous attempts to ply other rulers, such as the Khmer and Ayuthayya Empires, had failed. In Matsukara, they found a remarkably agreeable local warlord. Matsukara promised that if given Dutch transportation and logistic support, he could muster 6,000 troops, about 4,000 Ashigaru spearmen/archers and 2,000 rifleman (both samurai and non-samurai). Matsukara was aware that the bakufu government in Edo would strongly disapprove of this, but he was aware that if he triumphed and ruled over a large territory (the so-called "Philippines), he would be one of the most powerful daimyo of the realm. Under the deal, the Dutch would transport his troops to Manila, where they would destroy the entire Spanish garrison and then take control of all of Luzon. The Dutch would then continue to support Matsukara as he moved to take control of Cebu. Matsukara saw this as a huge opportunity, but so did the Dutch. They were aware any attack on the Spanish Philippines would redirect effort and attention from the Iberian defense of the rest of their possessions, including in the East Indies, Goa, and Macau. In addition, the VOC knew that any strike against Spanish possessions would be viewed favorably back in the Netherlands, due to the on-going War for Dutch Independence. The Spanish were vaguely aware that such a situation was going to occur thanks to their intelligence network being far superior to Matsukara's.

In early 1632, the Dutch-Shimabara force sailed from Kyuushu. Matsukara Shigemasa put his son, Matsukara Katsuie in charge of the Shimabara Domain. Upon landing in Manila, the Spanish were remarkably well-prepared and had set defensive positions throughout all of Manila. However, there was a huge numerical disparity. The Shimabara forces had over 6,000 troops to only 1,000 Spanish troops, who were severely outmatched in firepower due to the support of Dutch artillery and naval forces. Spanish forces bravely resisted, throwing back repeated assaults and inflicting two or three losses for every Spaniard lost despite their inferiority in training and tactics. However, the walls of Manila ultimately came down, and Shigemasa ordered the brutal execution of every last Spaniard in Manila, skewering them on pikes and leaving their rotting bodies outside the walls of Manila. Disturbingly to the Dutch, this included the families and servants of all the fallen Spaniards as well as any Spanish/Portuguese merchant families found in the city. Almost all of the residents of the Spanish town of Intramuros were butchered, with all of the silver seized by Matsukara to pay off the nearby Wokou pirates into neutrality (which they quickly interpreted to mean open season on Spanish ships). With almost no Spanish forces left in Luzon and a remarkably disturbing display of his brutality, the small towns that had paid fealty/tribute to the Spanish quickly fell into line, paying fealty instead to Matsukara. The brave sacrifice of the Spanish troops dealt enough damage to Matsukara's Army that he put off the assault on Cebu (due to insufficient men), focusing instead of brutally suppressing resistance in Luzon, rebuilding his army, and sending a smaller force to besiege Cebu. Matsukara's reign in Luzon became increasingly erratic and bloody though, as he extorted and murdered local tribes and peasants to fund future conquests. Across the Pacific, Dutch forces prepared to assault additional Portuguese colonial outposts.

The reaction in Edo was horror. The Tokugawa Shogunate was aware of the power and wealth of the Spanish Empire and was primarily concerned at maintaining stability at costs. Shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu dismissed all of his regents in 1632 that were sent by his father to restrain the cunning, but violent young Shogun, blaming them for being incompetent and unable to restrain Matsukara. They resented the accusation and when Iemitsu ordered his brother, Tadanaga, to commit suicide, one of them even broke into Tokugawa Tadanaga's house, helping his brother escape.[2] Although deploring the war, Iemitsu was pressured by almost all of the daimyo who feted the "triumphant Matsukara" to award him Luzon as part of the Shimbara Domain. Iemitsu grew to distrust the Dutch however just as much as he distrusted the Spanish/Portuguese. Although Iemitsu was not opposed to brutality, he suspected Matsukara's brutality in Manila would spark a reaction from the Spanish home country. He was right.

The loss of silver galleons proved a brutal financial blow to the Spanish Empire in 1632, already reeling in various wars, including wars with the Netherland, England, France, and the entire Thirty Years War. Silver imports were significantly down from New World, and Dutch fleets in Manila made it much harder to sneak treasure fleets from China to Mexico. When reports of the massacre at Manila reached Spain, the entire court reacted in anger, both at the lost revenue and the brutal massacre of innocents. Anger was especially directed at the Netherlands, as the court under the lead of Foreign Minister Olivares had largely adopted a "Netherlands first" strategy in the various wars at the time. Spain had literally declared state bankruptcy in 1627 in order to try to restore its financials, and it just took another gruesome hit. In order to prevent a state bankruptcy, Olivares had concluded something had to be done. Spain might not have the manpower necessary to secure Manila, but they could certainly try to protect Cebu and the other Portuguese colonies. However, there was great disagreement in how to accomplish this.

Simply put, the interests of Spanish and Portuguese nobles were at odds with each other. The Spanish wanted to retain the China ->Mexico-> Spain trade. However, the Portuguese were in complete disagreement - they believed the most important route was China -> East Indies -> Indian Ocean -> Around the Cape -> Portugal. A decision was made that seemed fair, but which still angered the Portuguese - Spanish fleets in Pacific New Spain would sail to Acapulco and attack Manila. After all, Manila and the Spanish East Indies were part of New Spain, and it seemed natural for large amounts of troops to be directed from New Spain to another part of New Spain. At the same time, Portuguese fleets and troops would be diverted from the Indian Ocean and East Indies to interdict the Dutch. The plan was for the Portuguese fleet to help Cebu hold out, before Spanish armies from Mexico could arrive and retake Manila, perhaps even launch an expeditionary attack on Japan itself to punish the Japanese. There was a clear risk that the Ottomans or Safavid Empires would take advantage of such an absence (the time it took reinforcements from Portugal/Spain to re-guard the Indian ocean), but quite frankly, Olivares didn't care. He prioritized the Manila Galleon trade, which directly enriched the Castillian monarchy, over the Spice Trade, which largely only enriched Portuguese nobility. Enriching the center at the expense of the periphery would presumably actually aid in his centralization and reform drive. The Spanish court voted to implement this plan over the objection of Portuguese nobles.
[1] OTL, Matsukara was assassinated here in 1630 because the central government wanted to stop him. But this time, he escapes.
[2] OTL, his brother was killed.
. Enriching the center at the expense of the periphery would presumably actually aid in his centralization and reform drive. The Spanish court voted to implement this plan over the objection of Portuguese nobles.
This is rather interesting.

I wonder if this might lead to a Spanish Formosa?
For the opposite, this might make japanese never adopt sakkoku and involves a lot into east asian geopolitics and at the same time might overextended and stress the spanish empire might be a blow early
Interesting thread
One of the main reasons for the portuguese restoration was the perceived lack of spanish help defending their colonial holdings. So a Spain that involuntarly starts to be more active in areas of portuguese interest it can lead to lesser support for independence
Interesting thread
One of the main reasons for the portuguese restoration was the perceived lack of spanish help defending their colonial holdings. So a Spain that involuntarly starts to be more active in areas of portuguese interest it can lead to lesser support for independence
One of the issues though here is that the Spanish crown diverted Portuguese forces from the Portuguese area of interests (SE Asia, Indian Ocean), aka the Spice Trade route, in order to protect the Castilian area of interest (the Philippines), aka the China/silver trade route. That's why they're so mad.
I'd pay to see a Japanese army kicking some Spaniard ass!
The Japanese armies would struggle to deal with Spanish tactics at first (everybody did at the time) but unfortunately for the Spaniards, I could easily see the Japanese adopting and adapting the their fighting style. Then you've got to deal with Samurai tercios.
You had precedents in 1582 of combats between japanese and spaniards in the Cagayan battles, where badly outnumbered spaniards defeated the japanese. Dutch attempts in 1646 and 1647 were also defeats.
We'll have to see how this conflict will develop - Spain was embroiled in the 30YW as well. But there is an interesting development - Portuguese and Spanish are putting their animosity aside. If they work through a reconciliation or a peaceful consensual break of the union, they could forge a common front against Dutch and Japanese. And the Papacy will be definitely supportive of their efforts.

I wonder how France and England will react over those developments. Not that what happens in the Far East at the time should be of their concern, but won't play really well for the Dutch for sure.
Chapter 2 - The Spanish Landings
The Spanish Landings
The Shogun's spies had been aware of the Spanish invasion force arriving. Spies easily intercepted communications between the motherland and the Philippines about the impending Spanish relief force. The fact that Mexico and the Philippines were quite far away from each other gave Matsukara Shigemasa significant time to actually prepare the defenses of Manila and muster additional troops from his home domain in Kyushu. His son dutifully hiked taxes in order draft more soldiers and build up the defenses of Manila. As the Spanish fleet came closer, they had quickly begun from to realize from spy reports that the clever Matsukara had turned Manila into a ludicrous fortress, using inhumane methods to build an absurd castle. Peasants from the countryside were literally captured, forced to work to death, and buried within the walls of an imposing castle built out of the Spanish defenses of Manila. Forces from New Spain had unhappily resigned themselves to (mostly) die throwing themselves as the walls of Manila, when a different opportunity arose.

The tax revenue to construct the castle in Manila and raise the Manila defense army was largely taken out of the Shimabara domain in Kyushu, as administered by Matsukara Shigemasa's son, Matsukara Katsuie. Katsuie was even more vicious than his father, sending police to make brutal examples of villages that failed to pay the massively increased taxes. He also continued and intensified his father's anti-Christian policies and widespread rumors that a "Christian holy army" was on its way to crush the Matsukaras lit a spark in the Shimabara domain. Disgruntled ronin (disproportionately demobilized from the end of the Sengoku period) and disproportionately Catholic peasants rose up in revolt, unified behind a 17-year old peasant girl named Natsuki Hayumi. With most of the Shimabara army in Manila, the rebels quickly seized control of local ports. The commander of the Spanish expeditionary force, seeing a golden opportunity to avoid throwing himself onto the walls of Manila, made an immediate detour, landing in the Shimabara peninsula, being feted by cheering, Catholic natives much to their pleasant surprise. The diversion into Shimabara was obviously done without any orders from New Spain or Spain proper, as the communication distance was too far. In fact, even the Viceroy of New Spain was completely unaware that Spanish troops had diverted to Kyushu. In many ways, the diversion was not quite that well-thought out. The Spanish commander wasn't exactly sure how to take political advantage of this - he just thought it was preferable to throwing himself at a castle in Manila. If anything, the governments in New Spain and Spain would have probably not attacked Japan proper for fear of jeopardizing trade in Japan.

In fact, trade was so jeopardized. Upon hearing of the direct attack, the Shogun revoked all trading privileges of all Portuguese traders and missionaries in Japan (viewing Portugal as a province of Spain), declaring them foreign spies. Hundreds upon hundreds of Portuguese traders were hunted down across Japan and tortured to death as interrogated spies, with all of their assets seized. The intelligence garnered from these traders was unsurprisingly not very reliable. Dutch traders gleefully profited, ratting out their Portuguese comrades for a share of their assets. In fact, the Portuguese colonial presence in Asia was in total collapse, with Dutch privateers raiding and sacking almost every Portuguese colonial outpost that had been emptied to reinforce the New Spanish army. This was the final nail in the coffin of the Portuguese East India Company (run by Spain), which had simply been rendered totally bankrupt as a result, with such a huge debt, that the Royal Finance Council of Spain generally did not want to even acquire toxic Portuguese assets. Bankrupt themselves, the Spanish quickly shoved all responsibility of debts of the PEIC onto the Portuguese Casa da India, which in turn drove it towards bankruptcy. The New Spanish combined fleet to relief the Philippines also commandeered the best ships of the Portuguese India Armada, which made the India trade a sitting duck for Dutch, Ottoman, and Safavid privateers, further crushing the colonial expenditures of Portugal, in what was rapidly seen as the last straw for the Portuguese nobility.

Regardless of its repercussions, the actual advance into Shimabara was wildly successful. The rebels had set up Hara Castle as a station for Spanish troops to resupply, and they quickly marched upon the nearest castle. New Spain had mustered the bulk of its professional army and combined with the Portuguese garrisons, fielded over 7,000 men, enough for three very under-strength tercios or two normal tercios.[1] This was supplemented by thousands of indigenous auxiliaries from Mexico and India, armed with a mix of rifles, spears, and bows. A huge number of troops were able to be transported because the Spanish galleons that would normally be sending goods to Spain had more or less nothing else but troops to transport before Manila was retaken. However, due to the difficulty of transporting horses, the Spanish force had an extremely weak cavalry contingent. Supported by an additional 20,000 (and growing) rebels that varied vastly in combat skill (the ronin were competent, the peasants were not), the Catholic Army faced roughly 5,000 troops of the Terasawa Clan in Karatsu Castle. The Karatsu clan begged the Dutch for aid, but the Dutch navy was simply too busy plundering Portuguese holdings and didn't view a Japanese intervention as profitable as that option. Spanish artillery easily breached the castle, which fell as rebels troops assaulted the castle. The head of the Terasawa clan committed suicide rather than being taken prisoner, and the Catholic Army continued to march on directly to Shimabara Castle, the crown jewel of the Shimabara domain.

By this point, the Shogun had begun to worry and had begun to make a call towards other daimyo in Hizen province to muster troops to defeat the "Spanish-led" rebellion. However, this process had not started before Shimabara Katsuie himself had decided to take matters into his own hand. Understanding that the Shogun was outraged at how Shimabara expansionism and brutality led to such a rebellion, Katsuie understood that their family was doomed unless they managed to suppress the rebellion themselves. The Battle of Shimabara would start when the entire Shimabara domain army, roughly 17,000 men, attacked a larger but more poorly trained Catholic army of roughly 37,000 men (though with only 7,000 regular Spanish troops), hoping that their superior training would rout the poorly trained peasants.

All in all, the battle was a disaster for the Shimabara. Katsuie himself was killed after his successful cavalry charge struck into peasant spearmen, at which point several Spanish riflemen simply opened fired into the crowd, killing some friendly troops but also decapitating the Shimabara Army. The superior numbers of the Catholic Army meant that they were closing in on the flanks of the Shimabara Army. Combined with the death of their leader, a leader that most of the peasant ashigaru spearmen generally disliked, the army collapsed in a total rout. Many ashigaru, fearing that they would be hunted down and killed otherwise, simply "converted" on the spot, bolstering the numbers of the Catholic Army. In contrast, actual samurai troops often fought bravely to the end if they couldn't make it back to Shimabara Castle. When the Catholic Army attacked the castle, it was defended by under 3,000 men, making its fall a foregone conclusion.

This dealt a severe blow to the Shogun, as the Shimabara and Karatsu clans were the only fudai daimyo in Hizen Province, local retainers who had been strategically placed on roads between the various tozama (less reliable) daimyos. Control of both Karatsu and Shimabara castles meant that the different daimyo of Hizen Province, who were supposed to consolidate an army to crush the rebellion, had no way of consolidating an army. It was upon this understanding that the Shogun Iemitsu declared that daimyo outside of Hizen province begin consolidating an army, that would be reinforced by troops from the center to enforce loyalty. The various Tozama daimyo cut off in Hizen quickly made excuses as to why they couldn't muster enough men to attack the Catholic Armies.

However, for all of the surprising success of the Spanish armies in Kyushu, the sacrifices made to ensure the Spanish landings also had another side-effect: driving the rest of the Spanish Empire into truly dire straits.
[1] Looking at a source, it seems Mexico back then had 14k pure Spaniards, 35k Africans, 1.3m pure indigenous, and 400k mestizos, and I assume somewhere around half the pure Spaniards are soldier types from Spain proper and the other half bureaucrats, merchants, etc. So maybe Spain sends like 5,000 and another 2,000 get cobbled from Portuguese garrisons.
So, OT1H, Iemitsu was opposed to the Shimabara aggression, expecting it to provoke Spanish reaction. But OTOH, Iemitsu then responded with severe measures against the Portuguese (viewing them as Spanish). IOW, it seems he let the Shimabara determine his policy; he did not repudiate Matsukara's actions.
So, OT1H, Iemitsu was opposed to the Shimabara aggression, expecting it to provoke Spanish reaction. But OTOH, Iemitsu then responded with severe measures against the Portuguese (viewing them as Spanish). IOW, it seems he let the Shimabara determine his policy; he did not repudiate Matsukara's actions.
I think he's in the position of a leader where he goes "well, **** this guy for starting a war", but he also fully understands that once the war was started, he has to actually win it (or at least end it on favorable terms). Failing to win the war of course shows weakness, which he doesn't want to do. OTL, Iemitsu crushed the revolt and then executed Matsukara for provoking it.

Here, Iemitsu's calculus is once again to probably win the war, and then execute Matsukara immediately after. Matsukara, knowing that the Shogun wants his head, embarks on a super-risky ploy to revive his good name...which gets him killed anyways.
Chapter 3 - The Portuguese Revolution
The Portuguese Revolution
On December 1, 1633, exactly 53 years after the crowning of Philip I of Spain as King of Portugal, the conspiracy was sprung. The Portuguese bourgeoisie and nobility and clergy had all had enough. Philip III, from the beginning of his reign in 1621, had clearly favored the Castillian nobility over the Portuguese nobility. Although the Crown of Portugal was said to be an equal, alongside Aragon, Castille, and others, the Portuguese nobility clearly felt like a mere province of Castille. Philip III had increasingly appointed Castillian nobles into important positions. Anger had been building up for a long time and would have likely boiled over even if not for the disaster in the Philippines, but the Spanish reaction to such an incident was clearly to favor the commercial interests of Castille over Portugal. The Dutch had so gruesomely ravaged the Portuguese colonial empire as Spain sought to defend its holdings first, that every single defeat was seen as a sign that Madrid cared not at all for Portugal. The fact that the Spanish even so brazenly just saddled the Portuguese Casa da India with all of the debts caused by Spanish mismanagement of foreign policy in Asia was a final insult. The bourgeoisie of Portugal was itself starting to become impoverished by Castillian mismanagement.

The Portuguese nobility burst into the capital, captured the Spanish Secretary of State, as well as the Viceroy of Portugal, Margaret of Savoy. Both were quickly exiled as the nobles, bourgeosie, and clergy acclaimed Joao, Duke of Braganza, as Joao IV of Portugal. The revolution sent diplomatic shockwaves throughout Europe. Forts and defenses were immediately erected all over the borders and over Lisbon itself. Ironically, even as Portugal revolted partly in order to save their colonial empire, the Dutch would not actually stop preying on it. Although the Dutch Republic would in theory want to form an alliance with Portugal against Spain, the New World was simply too far away to conduct such diplomacy, and the Dutch West India Company and Dutch East India Company continued their advances against Portuguese colonies. In fact, that Spanish forces had totally abandoned the sealanes around Brazil would prove a devastating blow for the Portuguese Colonial Empire, as the Dutch West India Company would eventually seize most of the coastal ports of Brazil, adding it to their colony of New Holland and cutting off Brazil from the European homeland. John Maurice of Nassau was dispatched in order to govern New Holland and continue its advance into the hinterlands, where Portuguese settlers resisted ferociously.

No one celebrated this development more than Cardinal Richelieu of France, who saw his Habsburg enemies in Austria and Spain dealt another blow. Now the Habsburg alliance was fighting the Swedish-led (and French-supported) Heilbronn League in Germany, the Dutch Republic, and the Portuguese Revolution. Portugal called on England to honor its ancient alliance, though much to Richelieu's dismay, the English were particularly unwilling to comply, still smarting from their defeat Anglo-Spanish War of 1630 (and well, the earlier Anglo-French war). The recriminations of the wars were so deep, King Charles I seemed like he was still feuding against his parliament. However, Charles was personally ruling, having prorogued parliament in 1629. Still unwilling to go to war directly against Spain unless something dramatic happened in Germany, Richelieu made an interesting offer to Charles I. Charles made peace primarily with Spain and France simply because Parliament refused to give him money to wage the war. The Red Eminence had an easy solution. The Crown of France would directly pay the Crown of England to defend scrappy Portugal from the Spanish. King Charles honestly thought the deal was too good to be true. He made peace with France and Spain because he didn't have enough money to war against them - and now France would give him the money he needed to war against Spain? He took the offer, against the counsel of almost all of his advisers. Richelieu thought it was a cheap insurance policy. He was already funding the Swedes and Dutch, why not the English? Richelieu could also communicate through Charles with the Queen, Henrietta Maria, whose relationship had improved significantly with King Charles after the assassination of the Duck of Buckingham.

An army of around 28,000 men was raised in from England, Scotland, and even Ireland, led by the Duke of Hamilton. The nucleus of the army was unsurprisingly veterans of the war in Germany that had served with the Duke of Hamilton. Except instead of going to Germany, this time, they were headed to Portugal. This horrified the Spanish, which quickly realized that Portugal was turning into a disaster. The Portuguese had actually mustered more men than the nearby Spanish. The arrival of the British, which the Spanish fleet was not currently able to stop landing in Portugal, would immediately turn the tide of the war into a crushing Portuguese victory. To prevent this, Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand, who was raising an army to march into Bavaria to join with the Spanish army under Gomez Suarez, was ordered instead to make haste to Iberia itself, to destroy the Portuguese insurrection and defend Spain proper.

Hamilton himself had been ordered to try to get the army to make a profit (as the upkeep was largely a French responsibility). The orders were quite simple. Similar to how English privateers made a killing robbing Spanish ships in previous wars, the Duke of Hamilton's army was ordered to actually try to profit like the Swedish army did: off pillage. The Queen of Portugal, Luisa da Guzman, was the sister of the Duke of Medina Sidonia (an important figure in Andalusia) and the two had a tacit agreement to prevent war on the Andalusian front on either side, in hopes of limiting the war to the Northern border with Galicia. The British had no such qualms. The Duke of Hamilton's army arrived in Portugal well before the Cardinal-Infante's army did, because the Cardinal-Infante had to march from the Spanish Milan, plead with the Genoese for shipping (which was unusually difficult considering the extremely poor state of Spain's finances in the wake of the collapse of the Asia trade), and only then land in Iberia.

Although the Portuguese protested, they had to acquiesce to the British war plan. Hamilton's army marched into Andalusia, pillaging relentlessly as they went. Entire villages were wiped off the map as British soldiers burned them down and took whatever they could, enough to further their rapid advance. Only the city of Huelva along the way was spared, when the Alcalde of the City quickly surrendered in the face of a larger army, sparing the city from any violence, but ferociously angering the Spanish court. The goal of the British Army, as explicitly outlined to the Duke of Hamilton by Charles I, was to reach and sack Seville, the most important port in the entire Spanish colonial empire. The local Spanish armies sought to make a last stand in Seville itself, being unable to stop the Anglo-Portuguese advance. Ironically enough, many of the British soldiers were excited to "avenge Magdeburg and La Rochelle" despite the fact that the massacre at La Rochelle was orchestrated entirely by the same Cardinal Richelieu who was funding the British intervention. That being said, those were not the actual orders given by Charles - Charles merely wanted the city looted of valuables to help the extremely poor state of English finances that he had inherited from Elizabeth I and James I. His letters urged the Duke of Hamilton to try to keep the city most intact.

The Anglo-Portuguese force gained reinforcements (who followed the army like locusts once it was clear that they were given a free hand in pillaging) so the Duke of Hamilton approached Seville with around 41,000 troops, to the 5,000 troops of the Spanish. However, with the Cardinal-Infante's army only three weeks away, the decision was made to immediately assault the city, loot it, and then try to broker peace with the Spanish. Ironically, Seville was chosen as a port because it was incredibly defensible by sea (the easiest way to get to Seville was sailing from the Gulf of Cadiz into the Guadalquivir and then up to Seville), but it was not as defensible by land. The Anglo-Portuguese fleet at least prevented total Spanish domination of Gulf of Cadiz, isolating Seville from nearby Triana. Although Spanish troops resisted Anglo-Portuguese forces valiantly, the extreme numerical disparity meant that Anglo-Portuguese forces were able to cross the river to the north. The famed Walls of Seville were far less effective against modern cannon fire than they once were against medieval armies. Spanish forces tried to evacuate as much of the riches of Seville as possible. However, with somewhere around 150,000 residents, the roads out of Seville were clogged by refugees trying to escape the city. Many of the residents, seeing no way out, took up primitive arms in defense of the Anglo-Portuguese assault.

The result was a bloodbath. Fires engulfed the whole city, as brutal melee fighting clogged the streets of Seville. Allied troops plundered the great treasures of Seville, the wealthiest city in all of Spain, seizing anything shiny that they could get their hands on. Determined Spanish resisters refused to give up and charred bodies could not be dumped into the local rivers fast enough to prevent epidemics of disease from spreading, which killed both soldiers and civilians. Spanish chroniclers wrote on lengths about the "orgy of violence and pestilence" that consumed Seville. At the end of the week, over 12,000 Anglo-Portuguese soldiers had died, alongside over 50,000 Spaniards, mostly civilians. Anglo-Portuguese forces had actually restored some semblance of discipline within two days, although widespread disease still meant huge losses. Surprisingly, the Portuguese troops were much harder to restrain than the British troops, having unleashed decades of pent-up anger at Spanish authorities. Proportionally, the Sack of Seville was less devastating than the Sack of Magdeburg and even the Siege of La Rochelle, but it was much more devastating than both from an absolute numbers perspective. Charles I showered in adulation as the riches of Seville poured into the English, Scottish, and Irish treasuries, ordering diplomats to sue for peace with what he presumed to be a chastened Spanish court.
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Chapter 4 - The Flight of Wallenstein and the Battle of Eichstatt
The Flight of Wallenstein and the Battle of Eichstatt
The Austrian and Spanish courts grew increasingly resentful of their general in Germany, Albrecht von Wallenstein, for his refusal to go on a winter offensive against the Protestant forces occupying Bavaria. Their hatred of Wallenstein, who was notoriously inept at court life, only dimmed somewhat when upon hearing of the Portuguese Revolution and the retreat of the Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand to Spain, the Swedo-Protestant forces went on the offensive against Wallenstein, pillaging across Bavaria. This forced Wallenstein to move his army from Plzen, where they were camped during the summer, into Bavaria proper. However, stories of the pillaging in Bavaria and Wallenstein's' failure to stop it only further poisoned his image in the Austrian court and in his own army. Although Wallenstein was sure that the army would pick him over the Emperor, they clearly did not. After an open patent was signed by Emperor Ferdinand II calling for the arrest of Wallenstein, dead or alive (most likely dead), Wallenstein fled his army with a core group of around 1,500 loyal men. A group of Irish mercenaries sent by the Emperor to assassinate Wallenstein failed to interdict him in time, much to his own relief, when his forces stumbled upon Protestant forces camped under the command of Duke Bernhard of Saxe-Weimar.

The Protestants were shocked that the hated Wallenstein had come, of all things, to defect, but kind of understood his reasoning when it was clear that the Emperor had tried to assassinate him. Although they trusted Wallenstein far less than how far they could throw him, they accepted his offer. In exchange for providing as much information and advice on the Imperial Army as he had, the Protestants would keep him safe and return to him his estates in Bohemia, which had been confiscated by the Emperor. He had cleverly not demanded the Duchy of Mecklenburg, which was invested onto him by the Emperor in 1628 (after he had conquered it) as it was obvious the Protestants would not agree, but he had also asked for a "suitable land in exchange." The Protestants agreed largely because they figured no such estates would come up and that they would never break into Bohemia far enough to give Wallenstein his estates back.

As a result, the armies of the Heilbronn League quickly gained an excellent understanding of what they were facing. With several Wallenstein-linked officers (though not Wallenstein himself, he was not allowed near any actual command) added to the armies, the Protestants had two armies of roughly 13,000 men under Duke Bernhard and Gustav Horn (of Sweden). The former army of Wallenstein, now under Crown Prince Ferdinand, had roughly 12,000 men as well, which was being reinforced by the army of the Spaniard Gomez Suarez, the Duke of Feria, which had 14,000 men. The Duke of Feria notably died in early 1634, leaving command of the combined armies to Crown Prince Ferdinand.

The two Protestant armies decided to try to prevent the armies from uniting. Although roughly in equal numbers, the Spanish Army was clearly the strongest of the four, having the advantage of the Spanish tercio, which although having been defeated once by Gustavus Adolphus, generally remained unmatched in Europe. The threat of this army forced Gustav Horn to break off his attempted siege of Uberlingen, moving north to try to stop the former Duke of Feria's Army from crossing the Danube at Donauworth. Leaderless and deprived of fresh reinforcements originally planned from Italy, the Spanish Army stalled. This was a problem, as the forces of Duke Bernhard had just chased the Austrian Army west from Regensburg, west of the Danube. Thus, the Spanish Army had to find some way to get across the Danube to link up with the Austrians. The nearest city to the South, Ulm, was Protestant-held. The second nearest major city to the North...was Regensburg. Thus, the decision was made to head north to the nearest city, Ingolstadt, which was held by the Austrians ever since Gustavus Adolphus failed to siege it in 1632.

Gustav Horn's army moved across the Danube to try to intercept. However, Donauworth from the north bank of the Danube was 56 kilometers from Ingolstadt (63km from the South Bank), while Regensburg was 71 kilometers away. Horn's Swedish army had managed to interpose themselves north of Ingolstadt and on the southern bank of the Altmuhl River (close to the town of Eichstatt), between the Austrian Army and the city. With the Protestant Army close on his heels, the Crown Prince Ferdinand concluded he had no choice but to launch an attack on the Swedish position. The attack was a catastrophe. With no cover, Swedish three-pounders tore apart Austrian units, targeting the exact spots of Wallenstein's former army that Wallenstein said were the most vulnerable. Under withering Swedish artillery and musket fire, almost no Austrian units made it to the other side of the river. An unlucky barrage killed the impetuous Crown Prince himself and with no leader and knowledge that an army was approaching from the north (the army of Duke Bernhard), the army then collapsed. Most of the leading officers, who had famously plotted to kill Wallenstein, feared retribution (none was coming) and abandoned the army once things were lost. The remnants of the army more or less surrendered en masse or deserted. Worst of all to the Imperials, many of the more mercenary forces, especially those more sympathetic to Wallenstein, simply signed up as mercenaries to the Swedish-Protestant forces.

The Spanish Army, left on the wrong side of Ingolstadt, quickly realized that it was grossly outnumbered by the enemy. The Swedish-Protestant Armies settled into a siege of Ingolstadt. Even after the Swedish-Protestant Armies left a siege detachment, roughly 25,000 troops faced down roughly 13,000 Spanish troops. Clearly outnumbered, the Spanish Army retreated a hasty retreat, abandoning Ingolstadt and even completely leaving Bavaria. With the inevitable fall of Ingolstadt, a reliable path had been found across the Danube, giving Protestant-Swedish forces a clear path to Vienna, one that they would decide to take in 1635 after spending the rest of 1634 rampaging around in Bavaria, securing that path. Such rampaging would quickly drive Maximillian, Elector of Bavaria, to leave the war, signing an agreement with Axel Oxenstierna to more or less cease resisting Swedish-Protestant forces in exchange for his title and electorship being guaranteed. 1634 quickly became one of the most catastrophic years for the Habsburg family, the battles of Seville and Eichstatt sending shockwaves of terror through both the Austrian and Spanish courts. In one year, the crown jewel of the Spanish Empire had been burned, the Austrian crown prince killed, and Vienna itself threatened for the first time in many years by invasion from the North.
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Were not for the pitiful state of the Spanish economy, Britain and Portugal would pay dearly for this.
Well, the funny thing about the 30 Year War's is that Spain's economy is pitiful, but so is England's economy. And Sweden's economy. And Austria's economy. And really everyone in Central Europe. And to an extent, even France's economy just because of how much they've subsidized everyone. And let's not even get into the economy of Ming China....