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In 1202 the 4th Crusade began with the intention of conquerring Egypt. However they were manipulated to sack Constantinople in 1204. But what would have happenned if they kept to their original goal?
Conquest of Egypt
After conquerring Zara, the Crusaders continued further southeast, stopping mainly in Dyrhaccium, Corfu, Candia on Crede, Cyprus and then land near Damietta, Egypt.
In 1203 the Crusaders begin to siege this city, and by autumn 1203 the city falls into their hands. The Ayyubids now prepare for a counteroffensive trying to crush the Crusader army. The Crusaders and Ayyubids meet on the battlefield at the battle of the Mansura outskirts (21. 10. 1203).Despite important casualties, the Crusaders managed to win the battle.
Hence the Crusaders by the end of 1204 controll the eastern half of the Nile Delta, constituing a Kingdom of Egypt, with the King becoming Baldwin I..
The Kingdom of Egypt has sent an emissary south to Nobatia, asking the Nubians to attack the Ayyubids from the south. The Nubians were to gain all land as far down to Aswan.
In January 1205 the Crusaders reach the outskirts of Cairo, however after seeing their chances, they turn away and march toward Alexandria. In the meantime Nubians storm Aswan . In February the siege of Alexandria begins. The two-week siege resulted in Crusaders taking over the city. The Ayyubids try to assault the Crusaders at Tanta but are defeated once more.
In Minya, a popular Coptic rebellion breaks out. The Nubians continue their campaign northward and continue toward Luxor.
In1206 King Baldwin dies. His successor Henry sends emissaries to Europe asking for further support in order to be able to conquer Cairo. The only willing countries to help were the Rhomaians (Byzantines), but they after disembarking in Alexandria they asked for many compromises. However they were rejected.
After reinforcements from France arrive, the Crusaders begin thelong-awaited siege of Cairo. In the meantime the Coptic rebells capture Asyut, Sohag..
By 1209 the Ayyubid rule in Egypt collapses, with most of northern Egypt up to Cairo. The city of Cairo is proclaimed an independent city-republic. The Beni Suef clan becomes indepent. The Upper Egypt becomes and independent Coptic principality of Minya. The northern border of Nubia is at Qene.
The new order
In the following decades, the Rhomaic army launches a surprise invasion of Cyrenaica, which ends largely successfully. In the new Kingdom of Egypt, a new order is established. The major offices are being given to "Frankish" Crusaders, who participated in the 4th Crusade. However, many important positions such as advisors and mayors are being given to local Copts. The Muslims are reduced to dhimmi status, having to pay jizya and all minarets are turned down. Also Muslims are restricted from praying on the streets.
The upper class language is Latin and Old French (amongst the Crusaders), but Coptic is being reintroduced, and partially also Greek. Arabic is forbidden at court. Such policies result in many conversions back to Chrisitanity. The Coptic Pope John VI. moves to Alexandria.
The fifth Crusade began in 1213. The main commander was Andrew II. of Hungary. The main plan was to secure Egypt and from there to march eastward and reconquer Jerusalem. After Henry dies in 1216 he is succeeded by Peter until 1217. In 1217 the Crusader fleet arrives in Alexandria. They decide to march to Cairo which after three months of siege surrenders. In 1218 they continue the war against Bani Suef clan and conquer Fayyum and negotiate with the Coptic principality. In this year Andrew II. returns to Hungary.
Due to the throne being vacant a the ruler of the Coptic principality is crowned as King of Egypt. (Panoutis I.)
(In this time the Mongols gain control over Khwarezmia).
By 1219 the "Franks" move out of Egypt (the nobles, not the traders) and sail to Accre. From there they conquered Jerusalem which was aandoned by Muslims. The "Franks" put their effort and regained most of the Kingdom of Jerusalem (Krak, Montreal) except for the Red Sea port at Aqaba.
In 1228 The Franks launch a 6th Crusade by consolidating their domains to cover also the Beqaa valley.
In 1230 Emperor John III. Doukas Vatatzes strikes a massive campaign against the Seljuks, regaining Ankara, Attalia and Amasya. The Rum Sultanate is diminished to the northern foothills of the Taurus.
In 1242 the Mongol invasion gave a decisive strike to the Seljuk Turks. By this time Emperor John utterly defeats the Turks .
In 1248 a 7th Crusade starts which brings the Sinai peninsula under the authority of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Before that the barons Crusade restored Crusader control to Lattakia region.
By 1260 the Battle of Ain Jalut occurs. Difficult negotiations between the Mongols and Crusaders take place between the battle and the Franks ally themselves with the Mongols. Victory paves the way Crusader advances into the Syria to the Euphrates along with Edessa, while Mongols gain Palymra, Assyrian and Mesopotamia.
A Kigdom of Syria (Malkutath Suriya) was proclaimed with Old French and aramiac as its official languages.
The 8th Crusade was launched in 1270 by the French king in order in order to gain control of Tunisia. He gained support of Genoa, Rhomaians who marched westward from Cyrene and began to attack Ifriqya. After conquering Tunis, the "Franks" set up a Kingdom of Africa. They manage to conquer northern two-thirds of Tunisia. (The major Christian populations in the time were around Gafsa, Tozeur and Kebyli in the southwest.)
With the Ilkhanate being bordering "Frankish Syria", the ilkhans were more willing to adopt Christianity. Ilkhan Arghun gets baptized in 1287 and supports Nestrorian Chrisitanity in his realm as well as Zoroastrianism..
He asks representatives of all religions in his realm to attend his court and initiates a debate about religion. His court decides that Islam is too restrictive and start a policy of de-islamisation.
Muslims are given the dhimmi status under their own sharia law. Also a new law is issued where if a Muslim kills a non-Muslim, himself and 50 other Muslims are killed.
Administratively the Ilkhanate is divided into satrapies.
Soon the Christian and Zoroastrian population increased while the Muslims shrank.
By this time the Rhomaic empire has repopulated and hellenized most of Anatolia. Meanwhile, they also conquer Bulgaria. Regarding Kemet, the population is now 60% Miaphysite, 20% Muslim, 10% Jewish and 10% Frankish or Orthodox. Kemet has good relations with Nubian countries down south, while in 1315 they capture Cyrenaica (now a Greco-Arab mix).
Kingdom of Syria is stuck between Rhomaics, Kemet and Ilkhanate, trying to remain independent. The area is undergoing re-Christianization, with some 60% being Christian by this time.
Due to the Rhomaics being strong, the Serbs expand westward conquering much of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In 1368 many Nestorians flee China, finding refuge in Mughalistan (today Xinjiang). By this time also in Uzbekistan region the Nestorians are dwindling, and Manicheans are almost gone.
However a brutal Venetian-Byzantine war occurs, with Venetians capturing much of the Aegaen.
The collapse of the ilkhanate was major geopolitical shock in the area. Several Turkic dynasties emerge, but what was important an Assyrian principality emerged and also two Zoroastrian states: one around the Caspian and the other around Yazd. A rump Ilkhanate known as the Azerbaijan kingdom remained around Tabriz.
At the end, what happened was was Timur. However, because he was halted by a coalition of Iranian states, he turned northward and managed to conquer southern Kazakhstan. Somehow, however, Manicheism was able to remain in Uzbekistan, namely in the region of Fergana
Here we can see two maps (taken from EU4) showing how the world looks like in this ATL.
By 1444, the major differences are the larger Nestorian presence in upper Mesopotamia and Azerbaijan as well as Central Asia. Central Asia is also a last refuge for Manicheans. The Levant is mostly Christian as well as Egypt. There are two major Zoroastrian centers: Kermania and Caspian Sea coast.
The Rhomaic Empire suffers the loss of Morea, which falls under Venetian hands. However, the Rhomaics push southward and conquer the Levant. Also, the independence of Serbia ends. Iran is unified by the Ardavi dynasty (mirroring OTL Safavids) who were Nestorians. During the 16th century, Rhomaics push southward conquering Kemet and secure the border. The "Kingdom of Africa" as well as Maltese Tripolitania are under the protection of the Spanish Crown of the East Roman Empire. In the meantime, southern Mesopotamia is conquered by a Mamluk dynasty, which subsequently is captured by the Ardavi dynasty.
Early modern period
A major confrontation occurs between Rhomaic empire allied with Hungary and France against the Habsburg bloc allied with England, Venice and various Italians states except Genoa. Poland stays neutral.
The Peace of Westphalia strengthens the the Rhomaic bloc, giving the free hand over all of Maghreb. By 1700 Venice again reclaims Morea. By this time, Manicheism remains in Bactria and the Tarim basin, while Nestorianism prevails in Kyrgyzia, Dzungaria, most of Persia and Mesopotamia as well as Socotra and getting foot hold in parts of Somalia.
Soon the collapse of the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth and the weakening of the Rhomaic empire mean strengthening of Prussia, Russia, Austria, France and Persia.
The Ardavi dynasty in Persia collapses in around 1710, when a new Yazdi dynasty arises taking control over eastern half of Persia, while the Salmanid dynasty maintains western Persia and the Ninawi dynasty Mesopotamia.
Persia was divided into three: Zand dynasty, in the west, Durranni in the east. Finally, Persia was reunited by Qajar dynasty but without Afghanistan.
Serbia and Albania gain independence by 1810s. By 1805 Egypt is independent once more. Other turning points are that France retains Louisiana (+butterflies) .
After the Napoleonic wars, six powers remained in Europe: France, Britain, Prussia, Austria, Russia and Rhomaics. The Balkans are regarded as a part of Europe and the "eastern question" is moved farther to the Middle East (in ATL Middle East is regarded as Balkans in OTL).
Europe develops the way it did, mostly. The Rhomaic empire is now limited to Bulgaria, Macedonia, Thessaly, Anatolia and Mesopotamia (Levant gets overrun by Egypt). Mesopotamia soon gets under Persian rule.
However in late 1800s Egypt lost the ability to pay for its debts, so gets under British administration (The Levant is re-conquered by Rhomaics). In 1864 Maximilian Habsburg becomes King of Poland instead of becoming emperor of Mexico
First world war
On the map we can see the world on the eve of WWI.
- British Empire
- Rhomaic Empire
The war was fought on the following fronts:
- Pyrennean - Imperial victory
- Lothringian ("western") - no clear victory
- Savoyard - Imperial victory
- Russian ("eastern") - Helgoland victory
- Danuvian ("Balkans") - Imperial victory
- Greek - Imperial victory
- Albanian - imperial victory
- Mesopotamian - imperial victory
- Sinai - no clear victory, rebellion in Egypt and Syria, later suppressed by Britain.
- Numidian - imperial victory
- Moroccan - imperial victory
- Namibian - imperial victory
- Somalian - Helgoland victory
- Nigerian - stalemate
- West African - imperial victory
- Dakotan-Imperial victory, but very tight almost stalemate.
- Alyeskan-Helgoland victory
The war resulted in collapse of Russian empire, Austria-Hungary, weakening of Rhomaic Empire and also Britain.
At the end of WWI Austria-Hungary dismembers into Austria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia. Serbia merges with Montenegro and Croatia. The British lose Canada, Quebec, Kuwait, Cyprus. Also Scotland secedes. Italy has to release Ifrica, Sicilies, Papal States. Russia also loses states in the Baltic, Caucasus and Central Asia. The countries who are strengthened in the interwar period are France, Poland, Persia, Vlachia and Serbia.
Russia experiences a civil war. Muscovy gets ruled by Bolsheviks. Soon Idel Republic, Sakha and Alyeska declare independence. The Khazar steppe is still held by Denikin forces, while Siberia by Kolchakists. Serbia is forced to give independence to Croatia. Germany annexes Egerland and other German majority areas of Czechoslovakia.
World War 2
Revanchism is particularly strong in Germany,Italy, Hungary. By 1938 (November) Germany invades Czechoslovakia together with Hungary. Vlachia and Serbia come to Czechoslovakia's help, while France formally declares war on Germany. By this time the Communists conquer Idel-Uralia in a quick campaign, while also fighting on the Cossack front. Czechoslovakia withstands until april 1939, with last resistance in eastern Moravia, northern Slovakia and eastern Ruthenia. By this time also Hungarians make significant advances in Transylvania and Vojvodina.
On the first September, Germany and Soviets invade Poland, which is helped by the Baltic states and Finland. Poland surrenders in November 1939, with many Polish soldiers escaping either through Vlachia or Riga.
The war in Scandinavia takes place parallel with war in Italy in early 1940, when Germany occupied Denmark and Norway, while Soviets conquer Karelia. In Italy Mussolini annexes Kingdom of Sicily. The French conquer northern Lorraine.
In 1941 France and Benelux are defeated. By this time Britain conquers Scotland, while the Irish rebel.
In 1942 Italy conquers Ifriqia and Albania. In Epirus, the Rhomaic-Italian war starts. The Great Mediterranean War begins, as Rhomaia, Vlachia, Serbia, Armenia and Egypt defend against Italy, Hungary, Croatia and Germany. On the northern front Bolsheviks and Ukraine fight against Crimea, Vlachia, Circassia and Kolchakist Siberia. By this time an Axis Bulgaria emerges.
In 1943 Persia joins the war and by the time Ethiopia expels the Italians. (They were also halted at the outskirts of Alexandria.
The end of WWII sees the collapse of Bolshevik Russia and Nazi Germany and strengthening of the Rhomaic empire.
Emperors of Constantinople
- Alexeios III Angelos (1195-1211)
- Theodore Laskaris (1211-1222)
- John III. Doukas Vatatzes (1222-1254)
Kings of Egypt
- Baldwin (1204-1205)
- Henry (1206-1216)
- Peter (12016-12017)
- Andrew (1217-1218) de facto
- Panoutis (1218-