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 The Third Germany

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Hanzo
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PostSubject: The Third Germany   Wed Dec 09, 2009 4:02 am

The Third Germany


Part I: The Blueprint

At the outset of the Napoleonic wars, no one could have suspected that the German states, in a highly inefficient Holy Roman Empire, could have become one significant state, especially not after the 30 years war, which had seen the empire bitterly divided between protestant and catholic states, and the empire with little central control over either. The two German powers that might have achieved this, Prussia and Austria, the two strongest German states, would simply not be willing to allow the other two gain too much power over the other, therefore keeping Germany divided as such. France certainly did not wish for a strong centralised neighbour, and Russia was under a very reactionary leader who would want to deal with nothing of the sort. At the outcome of the wars, none of their concerns would be even relevant.
To know why this came to pass, we must first examine the twin battles of Jena-Auerstedt, two bloody and terrible battles. The battles would spell the doom of Prussia. During the battle of Auerstedt, Nicolas Davout, the French commander and one of Napoleon’s ablest generals, was killed by stray cannon-shot. This would have catastrophic consequences for the French in the battle, as confusion reigned, and Bernadotte’s reinforcements nowhere in sight, the French collapsed. While Napoleon still had inflicted a crushing victory at Jena, he was deeply enraged at Bernadotte. This had grave repercussions for the French; a good part of the Prussian army could fight on, with the Russian’s fast approaching, and even worse, a week after the battle the emperor received ominous news. Austria was again at war with France.
To his further infuriation, Napoleon discovered that, not only had Bernadotte’s “Sheer, near unbelievable cowardice” cost him one of his finest commanders and his elite third corps, but also the main body of the Prussian army had not been the one engaged at Jena as Napoleon initially believed. So furious was Napoleon with Bernadotte, he declare he would never hold command within the French army every again, and immediately relived him of his position as marshal of France. Bernadotte in turn, moved to Sweden, another country that would soon undergo some monumental events itself.

None of this would stop Napoleon though, in fact, many historians consider it to this day to be the reason why he now pushed even harder. The Russian, Prussian, and Austrian armies all suffered a cataclysmic defeat at the battle of Poznań, referred to by many as the second Austerlitz, however; perhaps Austerlitz should be referred to as first Poznań, as Poznań far eclipsed Austerlitz in sheer scale and consequence. Thanks the strategic brilliance of Napoleon and marshal Lannes, the Prussian army was broken completely, while the Austrians and Russians limped away, heavily mauled. Napoleon now marched, almost unopposed back west towards Berlin, while Lannes continued to peruse the Russians, with many Polish partisans helping out this effort.

The battle of Berlin would be Prussia’s last breath. Although Napoleon’s spirit had been slightly calmed by his victory at Poznań, he still harboured a deep dislike for the Prussians. Since the Prussian army, deeply mauled at Poznań, was hardly able to face the French on their own after the battle, the Austrian army attempted to prop them up. This would prove disastrous for both parties, as the Prussian king and Archduke Charles of Austria could not agree who should be overall commander of the forces. After a brief battle, the demoralized German forces were simply broken apart and overwhelmed by the French. Napoleon now enacted something he had been planning since Jenna. Prussia was dissolved as a kingdom, and incorporated as a territory of the Confederation of the Rhine. The battle was perhaps just as ominous for Austria, as Archduke Charles had perished on the battlefield, and with him, Austria’s greatest engine for reform in the army.

Meanwhile, Lannes had crushed the Russians again at the battle of Lublin. The Russian armies, after these two catastrophic battles, were at breaking point. Russia came to the peace table and, after a week of negotiations, the peace of Tallinn was signed (See territorial consequences of treaty in map A). The treaty effectively gave the Russians a free hand against the Swedes in Finland, but nowhere else. The reasoning for this is because Napoleon wished to bring the Ottoman Empire into his orbit as an ally, as he, and the Russians, both knew this was not to be the end of the conflict between France and Russia.
The treaty had effectively left Austria on it’s own. Regrouping their armies desperately on the Danube to defend Vienna, they were smashed on the river as the battle of Aspern-Essling. Vienna fell, and this sent shockwaves through the empire. Hungary immediately declared independence, and Napoleon was all too happy to accept it as a French ally. Shortly there after, Europe looked a little like this.













A






Key: Dark Blue – French Empire
Lighter blue: French minor Allies and directly occupied territories of the French armies (French allied states named)
Light Green: Ottoman Empire (now allied to France) and satellite states
Dark Green: Russian Empire
Turquoise: Russian occupied Finland (having been cut from Sweden during the treaty of Tallinn)

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PostSubject: Re: The Third Germany   Wed Dec 09, 2009 4:18 am

NEXT PART NOW FAGGOT
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