Victorious Henry the Pious

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by krieger, Feb 13, 2019 at 1:49 PM.

  1. krieger Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2018
    Henry the Pious, Polish (Silesian) duke during the period of feudal disintegration of Poland was very close to reunifying Poland and getting Polish crown. However, his struggle was brutally ended by a Mongol invasion and his death in the battle of Legnica (Liegnitz). But what if Henry the Pious was actually victorious? It wasn't impossible (this scenario doesn't belong in ASB territory, Battle of Ain Jalut proven that defeating Mongols, was possible - hard to do, but possible - Mongols never bothered Mamluks anymore after the battle), so let the fun begin! Battle itself had quite a dramatic story, so let's introduce two crucial points necessary for Poles to actually win the battle:
    a) First off all, in numbers Mongol and Polish forces were almost equal - Mongols had 8 thousand warriors, while Polish forces consisted 7-8 thousand warriors. The gamechanger was betrayal of Opolian prince Mieszko II the Fat, who escaped from a battlefield with his Opolian forces. Say Mieszko the Fat chokes on his meal just before the battle, leaving Henry II as a commander of his forces.
    b) Silesians were waiting for a help of a king of Bohemia, Wenceslas I, but they never managed to join forces with Czechs. Say Mongol operation is less succesful than IOTL, and Poles are actually able to join forces with Czechs, so Mongols are actually outnumbered. As a result, battle is a Polish-Czech victory, when Mongols are forced to leave Poland. They are sure plotting the revenge, but Ugedey dies at 11th December 1241, so they aren't able to enact their plan. This leaves Henry (now regarded as a savior of Christianity and a defender of Mongol hordes) as a strongest duke in Poland. Death of Mieszko II the Fat strenghtens his position even more, because he is again a regent for his underaged brother, Vladislaus. Henry regarded as a savior of Christianity, has no trouble defeating Conrad of Mazovia (who is a mindless brute not liked by a nobility), and in addition Conrad's son, Casimir of Cuyavia (married to a Silesian princess) betrays his father and sides with Henry. Young Bolesław (son of Leszek the White) is raised by Henry and gives up his duchy out of piety and joins clergy (he is planning to become member of TO). As a result, Henry the Pious is a undisputed ruler of a majority of Bolesław's III legacy in TTL 1250. With a help of his Czech brother-in-law, Wenceslas I, Henry is crowned the King of Poland. How large is the impact of a earlier reunited, stronger Poland in Middle Ages? Teutonic Order gets more help against Balts from a strong King and it means that TO could do better in it's campaign against Lithuania. What's more Czechs are gaining an important ally against Hungary in struggle of Austrian (Babenberg) inheritance. Brandenburg cannot even dream about getting Lubusz land (Neumarkt) and Silesian presence in Lusatia continues. @Jan Olbracht
     
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  2. Jan Olbracht Well-Known Member

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    Apr 9, 2012
    Location:
    Polska
    Dukes of Greater Poland could create some trouble. As long as Piast line of Greater Poland exist, it would be source of instability.
    Henry the Pious (as pious man) would like most of his sons to join clergy, except for oldest two (heir and spare). Politically Poland would be centered around Silesia with Wrocław as capital, thus Poland would struggle to get control over mouth of Oder river.
     
  3. krieger Well-Known Member

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    Sep 2, 2018
    It doesn't exist. Young Bolesław (OTL Bolesław the Chaste) entered clergy ITTL and is planning to become a TO member. But it is likely that Mieszko, Konrad and Władysław would join clergy with their father still living and becoming a king. I think that your prediction is likely, but due to connections with Reich and Lithuanians raiding whole eastern half of a state, helping TO deal with Balts would be also a thing in TTL Polish politics.
     
  4. marcinL Well-Known Member

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    Oct 31, 2008
    WouldN't the king move to Krakow, as it is the capital of Polish kingdom
     
  5. krieger Well-Known Member

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    Sep 2, 2018
    Not necessarily, Wrocław is far more secure.
     
  6. kasumigenx Well-Known Member

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    May 26, 2009
    I think the polish language would be similar to Greater Polish and Lower Silesian ittl or Cracovian and Upper Silesian since there is no shift of cultural center...from west or south to east or north and Mazurzenie might be the norm.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019 at 6:15 PM
  7. general general

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    Location:
    Godzone wine country
    Yes, but as a newly crowned king, recently a first among equals, would'nt the prestige of Cracow be useful?
     
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  8. krieger Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2018
    Maybe but on the other hand Wrocław is far more loyal to the king. In addition, we have an example of Przemysł II, who had even more unstable position among dukes, completely abandoned Cracow and crowned himself King in Gniezno.
     
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