The question we raise here : How if the age of naval explorations and discoveries of the late middle ages were held back for 100 years? How big would it impact? Perhaps the land-locked Indians will still be defeated quite easily when the Europeans came later, but not so with the Coastal Africans & Asians, which in time also develop their own advanced technologies....
Points of Divergence (1) - Battle of Aljubarrota, 1385 AD
1. 14 August, 1385 AD, as the Sun gets closer to the West.
Aljubarrota, Kingdom of Portugal
"The enemy is now near", said the king Juan of Castile.
"Yes sir, but our men are now exhausted, rest, tomorrow will be better." His General Pedro Pereira said.
The French companions within the King's rank started to complain, "this is no time for strategy, but for manhood, sire."
Lots of mixed response between the ranks and some small chaos were brought up to the surface, upon seeing this the King resolved the problem by ordering to build a camp. "We'll attack them after breakfast."
That night, both the Castillean and Portuguese camps were restless - patrolling guards here and there every now and then, commanders and gentlemen coming in and out of big tents where the strategies were being mustered, the air of tension is still on the heat. Reevaluating the enemies' position the Castillean and French force comes to a good plan of strategy.
They know their weakness, the battlefield all over Portugal and France have been their witness.
Rows of ditches, pits, wood stakes and a combination of English Longbowmen and Portuguese Crossbowmen waits up the gentle slope.
They think it's time to pit Crossbowmen against Crossbowmen, Archers against Longbowmen, with the help of some Mortar actions... Before taking it to the Knight's charge.
The Sun rises from the East, breakfast is served, quite scarce for the Castillean and plenty for the Portuguese, with warm bread and fresh water from the villagers of Aljubarrota itself. After that, the scene is set for a decisive battle.
Some shells of mortar were fired up towards the line of crossbowmen and defensive stakes, the Portuguese held their line as the horrible bombardment continues and the French Crossbowmen pits in closer, together with the other light-armed men-in-arms.
The Portuguese skirimish line were simply outnumbered, not even their English compatriots can help to withstand the 8000 french crossbows firing at the 2000 troops of both Portuguese Crossbowmen and English Longbowmen.
General Nuno Pereira simply can't help to see their skirmish line slaughtered, as soon as the mortars stopped their bombing, he rushed the two cavalry wings towards the light French-Castillean skirmish line.
And this moment, Rey Juan started to smile.
The French Crossbowmen after all were simply hacked around by the charge of the Portuguese, but it wasn't long before the French Knights came and turned the tables upside down; they were easily too superior for the Portuguese Knights which haven't had the same calibre of combat, let alone their spirit of knighthood.
The Portuguese main line still hold the line even after their knights had fallen, The French Knights continued their charge but failed miserably, again like in Crecy, Patay, and other wars back in their homeland - their arrogance for gentleman pride of conquering every single battle makes them easily dead on the battlefield.
Yet only then, the 2,000 remaining Portuguese main line must stand against the 10,000 Castillean main line infantries. They were simply outnumbered, only then the Count Joao d'Avim has to signal something: a retreat.
The battle is lost. The Castilleans now had the upper hand of the War that had lasted for 2 years, attacking Lisbon again is maybe an option, but to do that, the commandment of the army must be managed carefully, or else, the wrecking resistance spirit in the arms of all Portuguese will again prevail, like what happened in the earlier years.
Aftermath of the Battle of Aljubarrota
The decisive victory of the Castilean-French joint force ensured a clear pathway to again attack the capital of Portugal, Lisbon, as most of the important Portuguese Knights fall on the Battle. The overwhelming numbers, and the crisis of the Lords Appelant in England forced the English to return back to their homeland, defending their King Richard II's Interest, making the outnumbering force even goes bigger.
The conflict is simply won in the next year 1389, when the Castilleans finally managed to capture Lisbon and subjugates all Portuguese Counts and Knights and Landlords. The Personal Union between Portugal and Castille is now secured, Juan of Castile is now Juan of Castile and Portugal.
But then, it only suspend the tension for the next 5 years, as the rebellious hearts of the Counts, Orders, Heirs and the Merchants of Portugal still lives on - they launched some rebellions on the next 10 years, until the biggest and the last one in 1401, The Castille Crown instilled that all Portuguese Nobility shall be executed, its military order of the Knights of the Cross be under the command of the Knights of Santiago, and its Merchants must abandon the land of Castille & Leon.
The Portuguese exodus then disperse evenly towards England, where they had been allies since long, or towards Granada where the Moors were always been a good trading friend of them.
The dream of reconquista is now even far harder for the Castilleans, and with no naval expertise from the Portuguese, they have not even planned to sail towards Africa, to find an outpost where they can undermine the Moors.
Points of Divergence (2) - Battle of Varna, 1444 AD
2. Marshes north of Lake Varna, Bulgaria,
9 November 1444 AD, in the dark of the night
"To escape is impossible, to surrender is unthinkable. Let us fight with bravery and honor our arms." -Janos Hunyadi
The young 20-year-old king and protege of the man who said the memorable quote that night simply accepted his greatest knight's proposition.
Still, Cardinal Cesarini that is present there for the sake of representing the will of the Pope, can't be convinced.
"The wagon fortress is our key to survival"
The next hours of the night that should be done for resting themselves become a heated debate, only when the dawn strikes the compromise is finally written:
10 November 1444 AD
The light firearms and mercenaries shall be deployed outside the Wagonburg with the orders to stand their ground and not chasing any routing enemies, while the main bulk and cannons stay inside until the arrival of the Christian Fleet via Constantinople.
The talking is done, the battle begins, the Ottomans didn't change the tactic the Old Sultan has laid out.
The two flanks charged towards the Croatian and Wallachian banner, only to be repelled by the firearms. And fortunately it is for the discipline of Michael Szilagyi that those banners stood their ground. The Veteran Sultan watched over, he knows he won't get this one easily in a day - Siege is then preferrable.
12 November 1444 AD
2 Days of easy siege, the ransom are getting lower, skirmishes were fought with no gains for the simply doubly-outnembered Crusaders, but it is just until then their hope comes; a shadow of Genoese fleets gets in the sight on the end of the horizon of the Bay of Varna.
Hunyadi simply asked again for an all-out stand-the-ground-battle against the Turks.
This time the Papal Legate had no objections.
As soon as the Genoese fleets came in to the marshes Ban Tulotsi of Slavonia were sent to command the army of the fleet and readily assaulted the main Janissary line of the Turks, it went quite bad but at least now the power of the Turks is on par with Hunyadi's main forces.
The real battle began between the two opposing main line and finally ends in the Sunset, the Crusaders won with a lot of casualties, and Murad captured.
This phenomenon crippled the young Sultan Mehmet, easily then he was drawn into negotiation with the slicky coalition of Crusaders, for as long as the negotiation hadn't come to terms, Szilagyi and the young king Wladislaus continued to ravage on the Ottomans in Bulgaria and Serbia.
Truce of Adrianople - 7 January 1445
Across the winter of 1444 the negotiations continued between Sultan Mehmet II, Candarli Halil Pasha & Cardinal Cesarini with Janos Hunyadi.
Until finally in their 7th meeting in the then-capital of the Ottomans, Edirne / Adrianople, they reached an agreement, whereas the treaty said:
- The Crusaders agreed to:
- Release Sultan Murad and all the Prisoners of War, transferring them to Bursa by Venetian & Genoese fleets without harm
- Let the Turks keep their property and spoils of war from any confiscation, except of those related to the Catholic faith.
- Let the Turks keep their Jannissary Legion that is formed from the captured children of their former subjects inside the army
- The Ottomans agreed to:
- Annex all its territories inside Europe to its former owners
- Move its Capital back to Bursa
- Settle the debts of the Crusaders with the Venetians & the Genoese
Mutually, both sides agreed for an unconditional truce in which both sides must not pass through the border defined by the Papal Legate, which means that the Christendom must not attack Asia Minor, nor do the Turks can ever attack Europe again.
Later in the 16th Century, the Truce will be challenged, as the border in the Mediterranean Sea weren't defined yet.
Consequence of the Truce of Adrianople
The Ottomans now, having their two leaders came back safely, start to think of how to reamass a great power before taking on to Europe again. Akcemseddin, the royal tutor of Mehmet came up with a suggestion of making the Ottomans the legitimate Caliphate of all the Muslim World, and that idea came into Mehmet's mind with a great enthuciasm that the Janissary Legions were then trained with the mountain combat tactics as a preparation of invasion towards the Kurdistan & Mountainious Caucasus area.
While in Europe, as a sign of gratitude, the Holy See gave Janos Hunyadi the power over the Crown of Hungary and also as the Supreme Secular of the Asia Minor, which means that he together with his accomplice like Michael Szilagyi are the supervisors of the other Christian State in Balkan that is recovering from the Ottoman War. The mandate also means that all Personal Union ties between the Kingdom of Poland and Hungary is now cut off effectively, as King Wladislaus III now owns his own land of Poland while Janos Hunyadi is the ruler of Hungary, yet however they continued their alliance until their deaths.
The alliance made a significant fear however within the Holy Roman Empire, as Hunyadi was a fervent supporter of the Hussites that were rebellious in the earlier years of the centuries.
This would lead later to a war between the Holy Roman Empire, Italian States against the Balkanoslavic Kingdoms under Hunyadi's Clan & Wladislaus' Knights.
Constantinople retained the undisputable status of the Metropolitan Commercial Port between Europe and the Eastern World. And therefore there was still no need of venturing out directly towards the Indies and the Orient.
*this page is still on construction*