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Fall of Great Ports

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This althist timeline is open to proposal pages revolving around the main story!

The year was 1629. A time where European powers were consolidating their economic, politic and military gains in their newly-found colonies and spheres of influence in other corners of the world. All done to supply demands for exotic goods back home, as well to fill the national treasuries being exhausted on wars in the main continent.

The scene was about to change with the defeat on two of the most important European trading ports of East Indies - Malacca (Portuguese) to the Acheh Sultanate and Batavia (Dutch) to the Mataram Empire.

The Background

(under construction - here want to point out Iskandar Muda's and Sultan Agung's self-independence and anti-westernist policy and their Imperial glory aspirations, and also the condition of Malacca and Batavia, as well as the economical scene and importance of the East India trades for Europe)

Points of Divergence

1) Siege of Malacca (Acheh Sultanate x Portuguese Indies)

March 1629

Sultan Iskandar Muda of Acheh, having conquered most of Northern Sumatra and brought most Melayu kingdoms as vassals, resolved to storm Malacca as his final ruling wish. Acheh had previously tried a few times to take Malacca from the Portuguese but the efforts were all in vain. Learning from previous defeats of his predecessors, the Sultan decided to split his army into two; the navy, led by his Achehnese Laksamana (admiral), attacking the fort from the Sea and then landing near a dry riverbed, while his Malay vassals would encircle from the Northern Malayan peninsula.

The siege started out in June 1629.

OTL: The plan was spotted and the governor of Malacca, Antonio da Fonseca, sent a dispatch to the Portuguese Indian Viceroyalty for reinforcements. The dispatch was sent just before the monsoon winds changed and successfully reached India with the news. At the meantime, the King of Ipoh, a vassal and in-law of Iskandar Muda, changed allegiance and brought help from Patani, a Malay kingdom in Southern Thailand. The garrison held itself long enough before finally the reinforcements came, and in turn, the Achehnese army must held its grounds before finally retreating from the lack of supplies.

ATL: The dispatch wasn't sent on time, the monsoon winds changed and the effort was spotted by Achehnese navy patrols. The Laksamana sent a fleet to destroy the dispatch. The Sultan hasted his preparations and attacked the fortress in May, a month sooner before the Patani fleet are ready. The decision was rash but it undermined the ongoing Portuguese preparations, and as the bulk of the Achehnese army moved in, the garrison couldn't survive the assault. Portuguese lost Malacca.

2) Siege of Batavia (Mataram Empire x Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie -Dutch East Indies Company-)

Sultan Agung of Mataram, at the time titled Panembahan Hanyokrokusumo, has finished conquering Jipang and Ujunggaluh, both eastern part of Java island. As he seek to fulfill his Imperial aspirations to conquer Java under one banner, he turned west to subjugate two remaining entities - the Dutch domains, centering around Batavia (currently Jakarta) and the Banten Sultanate. Formerly he had launched a siege on Batavia in 1628, yet failed due to mistakes in naval supplying. This time, he tried to force an attack from the land route with supply stockades lined up along the northwestern Java coastal cities to support his two waves of army. The first, the Sundanese army, led by Dipati Ukur, Prince of Sumedang-Larang, and later a reinforcement led by Adipati Juminah from Mataram, 400 km east.

OTL: The Dutch employed Chinese spies and spotted the supply stockades early and so raided it. Dipati Ukur's core army was supposed to wait for the second's army arrival before conducting a full-scale assault. However, due to the diminished supply conditions, he conducted the assault first to no avail. Adipati Juminah and his army later arrived at the meeting town (Karawang), only to find out the Sundanese army was already outside the walls of Batavia. This angered Adipati Juminah and so he ordered mass rapes and raids on Dipati Ukur's land of Sumedang before moving in on Batavia. This in turn angered Dipati Ukur and the army disintegrated into infighting. Fearing Sultan Agung's punishment, Adipati Juminah's men deserted and settled down on northwestern coasts, while Dipati Ukur mounted a rebellion to push for Sundanese independence from Javanese Mataram.

ATL: Dipati Ukur's scouting army moved in sooner than the Dutch raiders did and finished the raiders off. The supposed plan then was carried out to success, with the Dutch garrison succumbing to the combined manpower of the two armies.

POD Aftermath effects

Acheh

Iskandar Muda's supremacy was uncontested in Northern Sumatra and Melayu realms. The trade and traffic of Malacca Straits was fully under his control as he restricted European fleets to trade the farthest only at Kutaraja (Acheh's capital, 300 km from the Malaccan straits). The Sultan then started building his core country land based from the spoils of war, while at the same time enforcing Malacca as a South-east Asian trading hub.

Portuguese East Indies

Having lost their last possession on Western Nusantara (Maritime South East Asia), the Portuguese were forced temporarily to relocate its Malaccan trades to Goa, India. The trade route to Timor and Moluccas was also broken, therefore the Viceroyalty of India was forced to enact a temporary autonomy decree for Timor and Moluccas, meaning they would govern and trade on their own for the time being. Portuguese then lobbied with the states of Southern Sumatra (Pagaruyung, Jambi and Palembang) to open trading opportunity.

Mataram

The 2 Army success was taken notice by Sultan Agung as he trusted Dipati Ukur and Adipati Juminah to share equally Dutch domains and spoils of war, as well as commanding the army for further expedition against Banten Sultanate, the final obstacle for Mataram domination on Western Java.

Dutch East India Company

Like the Portuguese, the Dutch have lost their main hub in Western Nusantara, therefore they relocate their operations to Ceylon (Sri Lanka). The lost of Batavia also means the loss of trade routes connecting the Dutch with their trade posts in Formosa (Taiwan), Japan, and Moluccas. This was a huge financial loss and the Dutch were forced to capitalize their income more from the WIC or Western India Company operating on the Americas. The loss also gave rise to an unorthodox idea among the Dutch ranks - to colonize the Terra Australis that had been previously spot and create a new Dutch trading hub in the region. In the meantime, the Dutch traded with the Minang people of Western Sumatra coast.

British EIC - East India Company

Knowing that a Mataram victory against Banten, their sole ally on the area, would be a devastating threat to their existence, the EIC started to funnel funds to support the Banten navy and military for the impending war. The EIC that formerly had disputes with the VOC started to approach the Dutch to reinforce Banten military, this however, was turned down to the turning conditions on VOC finances.

Banten

Knowing that the Mataram army would soon attack their possessions, Banten mobilized its population and ready themselves along the Cisadane river. They were ready in a defensive stance in the upcoming war.

Other European Powers

The fall of Malacca and Batavia shocked European powers and sky-rocketed east indies commodity prices for a while. Some attempts to revive a safe trade route were also endorsed; the Danes and French lobbied to the King of Makassar, while the Spanish Philippines tried to land a sustainable peace with Brunei Sultanate.

At the same time, the event also forced a shift of trust and capital to the West Indies (America). The chartered companies now paid more attention in ensuring the West Indies colonies were sustainable enough and not easily abandoned, as the investor and traders' perception of East India trade was bad - it was then too much of a risky business venture.

See also

  • Timeline
  • Nations
  • Leaders
  • Conflicts

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