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The background of the First Global War began when the Habsburg family came to power in Spain in 1516 and in Austria 1365. The Byzantine royal family, the House of Justinian, established under Justinian after the Nika Revolution, had become rivals with their family as the Middle Ages ended and the Renaissance brought a new era of power to Europe's royal families, and Spain and the Byzantine Empire were the rising stars of European politics. The Byzantines had help the Aztecs and Incas defeat the Spanish in the First Mesoamerican War, and both of the countries in the First Italian War. The Spanish also now also had a growing rivalry with the French and English royal families, and the Byzantines with the royal families of Austria and Bavaria, a state heavily allied to Austria.
And another main cause was of course religion. The Protestant Reformation swept through Europe in the early 16th century, and many European countries adopted new state religions, mostly Protestant Christianity. The English had adopted Anglicanism in 1533, Sweden adopted Lutheranism in 1527, Denmark-Norway in 1537, and most of the German state had adopted Calvanism by the beginning of the 17th century. The Protestant states of Europe rallied behind the Byzantine Empire, a non-Catholic state for centuries, and the Byzantium Pact grew to include England, Sweden, Denmark-Norway, and, after their their declaration of independence in 1581, the Dutch Republic.
The Dutch Revolt, beginning in 1581, also became a major reason for the political tensions, as it became well known the Byzantines had been supplying the revolutionaries, and had been shipping them supplies through France. The Dutch had control of most of the west of the Netherlands, but the Spanish movement had caused a stalemate by 1600, and the Dutch began looking to other members of the Byzantium Pact for help, receiving it from mainly England and Sweden. And when a series of Byzantine ships were seized by the Spanish navy, they were found with weapons with Dutch markings on them, and this caused a huge spike in tensions. Eventually, the Spanish backed down and the Dutch Revolt now received open support from the Byzantine Empire.
Meanwhile, tensions rose between the Aztec and Incan Empires in the Americas, as the two fought politically over trading rights in the Caribbean and over treaties with European powers. Despite their involvement in the First Mesoamerican War, the Incas had grown very economically friendly towards the Spanish, while the Aztecs remained allied to the Byzantines. The Spanish also continued to colonize the Mississippi coast and the northern Mexica coast. The Aztecs had also by now conquered all of their vassals, and their population was on the rebound, where as the Incan's had stagnated. The Aztecs now had also developed well-developed navies, consisting of Frigates and Men-of-war that were up to European standards. And as their naval bases began to appear on island after Caribean island, allowing them to gain a control on what countries traded in their territory.
But one of the greatest factors of the war came in Asia, as the Europeans expanded east for their colonies, they also began to colonize India for its economic opportunity, and multiple naval bases had also been established in these ports by 1600. The Chinese and Japanese also became a source of conflict as they also began to open up for European merchants and traders, and they also began to develop in their alliances. The Japanese had an open economic relationships with the Byzantines, whereas the Chinese and Koreans traded more with Spain. These partnerships became political after the son of the Japanese shogun had married the third daughter of the Byzantine Emperor. The Japanese now also joined the Byzantium Pact in 1597, and reorganized the Japanese military, to include the Japanese samurai, who now became mostly cavalrymen in the army, and more like the European knights. The Chinese allied themselves with Spain after rising tensions with Japan, and Korea and Annam followed for the same reason.
The European Theatre of the war was between the Byzantium Pact members: the Byzantine Empire, France, England, Sweden, Denmark-Norway, Genoa, Savoy, Florence, Venice, Brandenburg-Prussia, Saxony, Bohemia, and the Electoral Palatinate, and the Catholic League members: Spain, Austria, and Bavaria. It began in 1618 when Austria tried to suppress the anti-Catholic Bohemian Revolt and to subjugate the Electoral Palatinate.
The Bohemian Revolt evolved into a full-blown war when Bohemia, facing the threat of their revolt being suppressed, asked for help from the Swedish Empire. Sweden sent 15,000 troops immediately to help the Bohemians, and declared war on Austria, who then also looked to the Byzantines for help. The Byzantines in turn declared war on Austria, and the Byzantium Pact members followed suit. The Byzantines decided to try a new strategy as the war spread, dividing up their army of 350,000 into three separate armies: the 150,000 Army of Germany, the 125,000 Army of the Lowlands, and the 75,000 Army of the Mediterranean.
The Byzantines moved their army through the Austrian's land, capturing their territories in Croatia, Slovenia, and Tyrol, and moving to relieve the Electoral Palatinate by marching through Switzerland and Wurttemberg. Wurttemberg, a Catholic state, was conquered in 2 weeks, and the Palatinate was relieved from Austrian forces, who then retreated back to Austria. Meanwhile, by 1620, the Bohemians, even with support from Sweden, had their revolt suppressed, who then moved north to counter a combined Danish-Swedish army of 125,000 men marching south to support Bohemia.
The two sides met at the Battle of Dresden, where 35,000 Scandinavian troops fought 40,000 Austrians troops. The Austrians formed their cavalry on the their right flank, and their infantry in the center and left. The Swedes attacked the Austrians left, breaking their ranks, and forcing a retreat, at which point the Danes were hit by an Austrian cavalry charge. The charge was thrown back, and the Danes pushed forward, breaking the Austrians right. A Swedish infantry charge pushed the Austrian's center back, and forced the surrounded Austrian army to surrender.
These events caused the union of Prussia and Brandenburg in late 1619, and they raised an army of 5,000 men. The Byzantines sent their forces into Slovakia, where they then marched around the land to enter Northern Germany, and then reached Brandenburg-Prussia, where they allowed their forces to combine, and the Byzantines helped them raise a larger army of 50,000. The Byzantium Pact members were now able to invade Austria directly, but were met with varying success on the Austrian border. A minor battle at Zwettl resulted in a Byzantine retreat, but relief was just about to come.
Johan Baner, a Swedish field marshal, had been on a militarization campaign throughout Protestant Germany, and was now leading what was called the Protestant German Army. A combined army of 100,000 German soldiers, now moving to the Austrian border, and meeting up with the Byzantine Army of Germany. The Protestant forces now campaigned through Austria throughout 1624-1625, and finally arrived at the capital city of Vienna on March 7, 1625. The Battle of Vienna started peacefully for the Byzantium Pact forces, their armies were quickly able to form, infantry forces had formed a massive center line, with their rear guarded by artillery and their flanks defended by cavalry. Then things turned bad, the Austrian cavalry destroyed one of the infantry lines, almost leading to disaster, but the Austrians were then flanked by the opposing cavalry, and their forces were able to push the Austrians back continuously. The final push came at around 5:30 PM, when the Austrians launched a disastrous infantry assault, resulting in the collapse of their lines. The Austrians now were thrown back, and forced to surrender, finally ending the campaign in Germany, and a great first victory of the Byzantium Pact.
The Byzantine Army of the Lowlands marched through Germany in the summer of 1620, to help with the Dutch Revolt in the Lowlands. They met up with the Dutch Revolutionary Army in November of 1620, and marched towards the town of Enschede. There they marched towards the town of Utrecht, a center of Spanish reconquest, where 12,000 Spanish soldiers were stationed. The town was attacked on March 17, 1621 by part of the two armies, totaling at 40,000 soldiers, and with 240 cannons. The town fell to the siege on March 30, 1621, and the remaining 9,000 Spanish soldiers left in the city surrendered, marking a turning point in the Dutch Revolt.
The capture of Utrecht opened up a direct path for the Byzantines to supply the Dutch by land, and then the two armies began marching along the sea to set the coast of the Netherlands free. The city of Bruges was assaulted on July August 29, 1621, attacked by 25,000 Dutch troops and defended by 23,000 Spanish soldiers. The city was besieged and surrounded by September 7, but the Spanish trickled in supplies via river, so the Dutch sent out a fleet to blockade the coast made up of 20 ships, defended by 52 Spanish ships, but the Dutch were accompanied 12 Byzantine warships. The Battle of Bruges ended on April 7, 1621 when the Dutch and Byzantines defeated the Spanish fleet, and sailed upriver to bombard the city.
With Bruges captured, the Dutch soldiers marched along the coast, capturing Knokke and Zeebrugge in May, and Blankenberge and Ostend in June. Now with the coast secured, the Dutch moved to capture Ypres and Brussels, the last two points of Spanish resistance in the Netherlands. Ypres was besieged on July 18, 1622, and the Byzantines besieged Brussels in August 1622, and now the Spanish forces seemed on the breaking point. The Spanish attempted multiple counterattacks, all of which failed and only killed more Spanish soldiers. The Spanish forces in Ypres finally surrendered on September 4, 1622, and then Brussels in November 27. The Spanish had surrendered in the Netherlands completely by this point, and now the Spanish were drawn into a peace forcing them to accept Dutch Independence.
The Byzantines now had to employ their Army of the Mediterranean, and first used it against Spain. With south Austria cleared by 1624, the Byzantines marched against the Spanish, who had been fighting a Spanish invasion since 1621. The Army marched south from Venice, to occupied Bologna, forcing a Spanish retreat, and then a naval victory off of Palermo in Sicily, cut the Spanish off gradually from their supply routes. But now the Spanish moved south to Florence, a city heavily defended by the Spanish with 40,000 troops. But the Byzantines and Tuscans took it after a 2-week siege in July 1624, and the Spanish retreated generally south until they finally created a defendable line along Campobasso.
The Byzantines launched a flanking attack by sea behind the Spanish lines, and the Spanish retreated south, and another naval landing at Catazona forced the Spanish left on Italy to retreat to Sicily. The Spanish landed at Messina in November 1624, but the Byzantines landed at Catania, and pushed northwest to Palermo, and after multiple attempts of a breakout by land and sea, the Spanish surrendered on December 17, 1624. The Spanish also retreated to Sardinia, which they occupied in 1623. But the Byzantines launched a naval blockade of the island, and Sardinia fell without a shot being fired on March 9, 1625.
The Byzantines launched a naval invasion of Spain's Balearic Islands in May 1625, capturing the provincial capital Palma on June 2, 1625. The Spanish retreated back to the mainland, and the Byzantines pursued, launching a naval siege of the city of Barcelona on July 18, 1625. The naval blockade lasted for 3 months, but in October, the Byzantines brought in land troops to assault the city, and the Spanish lost the city in 2 days of fighting, after a short 2 month campaign in Catalonia and Valencia, the Spanish people rebelled in Madrid, and the Spanish king sued for a final peace in Europe.
North African Theatre
The Spanish launched a land invasion of Byzantine held Libya on February 23,1623, with an army of 40,000 soldiers. The Byzantines called up their army for desert warfare, the Nile Corps, a group of 12,000 elite native soldiers who had spent their entire military careers preparing for a fight in the desert. They first fought the Spanish on the outskirts of Tripoli, defeating them and pushing them into Spanish-held Algeria. The Spanish then moved in 30,000 reinforcements, and the numbers of the Spanish army pushed the Nile Corps back to the city of Benghazi. The Spanish then were reinforced again, as with the surrender of the Lowlands, more manpower could be put into the desert campaign. And Spanish troops crossed into Egypt in September 1623.
Sallum was attacked on September 12,1623, only being defended by 150 troops, it was taken in 2 hours. And then the Spanish soldiers marched unmatched until they reached Mersa Matruh, where the Spanish numbered at 14,000 and were fighting 5,000 Byzantines of the Army of the Nile, the army that defended the Aegyptus province. The Battle of Mersa Matruh was a victory for the Spanish, but their trouble began when they noticed the were fighting nobody on the road to the Nile River, but their assault on Alexandria was a different story. The city was defended by 50,000 Byzantines and the city held out against a siege for 2 months until on January 7, they were relieved and the Spanish moved south to capture Cairo.
Cairo was defended by 28,000 soldiers, and backed up by 200 gunboats placed on the Nile River. The Spanish attackers found themselves constantly bombarded by naval and land guns, and fired upon by Byzantine muskets. The first assault on the city killed 2,400 Spanish soldiers, and the second killed 2,800 Spanish. Eventually after a 2-day battle, the Spanish retreated, and were constantly followed by the newly regrouped Army of the Nile, now numbering at 120,000. The Spanish fled Egypt by June 1624, and then fled Libya by December 1624. The Spanish were then attacked in their own territory of Algeria in February 1625, and the local capital Algiers was taken and the Spanish finally retreated back into Morocco in June of that year.
The city of Oujda was taken in a quick, 4-hour assault by Byzantine forces, and the final battle on this front was now soon to be fought at the local capital city of Tangier. The city was defended by 45,000 Spanish soldiers, and was attacked by 94,000 Byzantines, who were helped by a naval blockade of 28 frigates. The city's defenses were breached in April 1626, and then after 2 more weeks of fighting, the city finally fell to Byzantine forces. And now with North Africa clear of the Spanish, the entire area was clear of any warfare, and peace was ready to set in.
The Japanese began their assault on the Chinese held island of Taiwan on March 27,1622, with an army of 75,000 soldiers. The Chinese defended the island with an army of only 40,000 soldiers, and most of them were stationed in the cities of Tainan and Taichung. The Japanese were equipped mostly with Western-style muskets and rode horses, whereas the Chinese were armed with few muskets and were mostly archers.
The Japanese attacked Taichung, defended by 12,000 Chinese soldiers on April 2, and the city was bombarded by land and sea as Japanese frigates pounded their own guns off at the city's walls. The city finally fell on April 15, and the Japanese left behind only 5,000 soldiers to occupy it while the remainder march south to capture Tainan. But a new and deadly weapon was the Japanese samurai cavalry. Samurai cavalry was a new brand of cavalry developed by the Japanese and Byzantines after the Japanese began doubting the future effectiveness of samurais as modern infantry, and they began training samurais as cavalry, where they seemed naturally capable.
Tainan was surrounded by Japanese forces on April 19, and the defenses of the city were quickly felled by Japanese artillery. The Chinese fought hard for the city, which was also defended by 4,500 native soldiers, but regardless, the city was taken in just 4 days of fighting. The Japanese now effectively ruled Taiwan, and began moving ships to it immediately for its planned occupation, and for the first Japanese blockade of the Chinese coast.
The Japanese navy bombarded the town of Pusan in southern Korea on May 2, 1623, and it was followed the next day by a land assault by 12,000 Japanese soldiers, who quickly took the town with only 2 wounded men. Then the Japanese assaulted Ulsan and Sacheon on May 5, and soon began moving on land to capture the rest of the south Korean coast. The Japanese army in Korea, now at 40,000 men, marched along the southern coast, taking towns like Kwangju and Taegu almost without a fight. Cheonan was then captured in June, and then the Japanese army began its march to the Korean capital city, Hanseong. Meanwhile, a Japanese sea invasion captured Inchon in just 2 days, now allowing for 2 forces of the Japanese army to move on Hanseong.
The city was first attacked by the force from Inchon on July 9, 1623, and then by the main southern force on July 12. The city was defended by 30,000 Korean soldiers, mostly archers, but they still held out in the city for 5 weeks, until Japanese artillery broke through their walls in August 1623, and the Japanese sent their infantry into the city. The Japanese won the battle after a three-day engagement in the city, and the remaining Koreans finally surrendered on August 25, 1623.
With the capital in enemy hands, a majority of the Koreans surrendered to the Japanese invaders, but 10,000 Korean soldiers held out against the invasion, but the Japanese, now numbering at 100,000 soldiers, were easily able to brush any resistance aside. Major cities like Pyongyang and Hamhung were easily taken without any shots being fired on either side, and most of the demoralized Koreans simply accepted their Japanese occupiers. But the Chinese still refused to give in, and tens of thousands of Chinese troops remained to fight in northern Korea. And even after taking the entire peninsula, the Chinese refused to give in, and refused to recognize the Japanese occupation of Korea.
The Japanese shogun, Tokugawa Iemitsu decided on a final plan for taking the Chinese out of the war. The Japanese sent a force of initially 25,000 soldiers to attack the Chinese port city of Tianjin, defended very lightly, as the Chinese believed any movement by the Japanese would com from the north, not by sea. As the Japanese from Korea pushed south into China, they met little resistance as a majority of forces had been sent to defend Tianjin. The Japanese fought hard for the city, and every street was defended by Chinese troops, but the Chinese still couldn't push the Japanese out of the city. The Japanese were finally able to raise their flag over the city on April 29, 1624. But the Chinese still refused to give up. The battle finally ended when the last Chinese surrendered on May 17, 1624. In all, 95,000 Chinese soldiers had participated in the massive Battle of Tianjin, of which 34,000 died, while out of the 56,000 Japanese soldiers serving in the battle, only 12,000 had died. The Chinese were finally convinced that the war was lost, and accepted to have a peace treaty with the Japanese.
North American Campaign
By 1623, under the threat of Spanish invasion of Virginia, a colonial militia was raised, consisting of 200 armed men in the English colonies. The threat of the attack was from Spanish Florida, which was militarized heavily after the First Mesoamerican War, and 500 Spanish soldiers were stationed there. And in Byzantine-held Florida, there were 250 Byzantine soldiers stationed there at the time, and they were the first to bear the threat of Spanish invasion. The Byzantines were held up mainly in Fort Alexandros on the east Florida coast.
The Spanish attacked the fort with 12 cannons, but the Byzantines held out for 2 weeks until the Spanish finally took it on April 14, 1625, but the English were then able to retreat back to the Byzantine Empire by sea. 42 Spanish soldiers died in the assault, the Spanish took the fort's provisions and then moved to invade Virginia. The Spanish attacked the English fort King George, taking it in 2 hours, and then moved along the east Appalachian Mountains, and then sailed along the James River in riverboats to Williamsburg and Norfolk, were they then met the colonial militia.
The militia was soon reinforced by 150 English regulars, who helped fight back the Spanish, and at the decisive Battle of Williamsburg, the British forced the Spanish to retreat back to Florida. The Spanish returned to Florida, where they then learned of the Spanish defeat in Europe and planned surrender. But they still firmly controlled Florida, and the Spanish sent over more troops to occupy it.
The Aztecs now engaged the Incas over control of Central America, and over trading rights in the Caribbean. The Aztecs had now raised their army up to 40,000 against the Incas 35,000. They both had developed their own tactics and methods with modern weaponry, and were now prepared to fight a modern war.
The Incas attacked the Aztec Fort Moctezuma in Panama on June 17, 1624, defended by 120 soldiers, it quickly fell, but now before sending a message to the Aztec city of Chetumal, where an army base was located. The Aztecs sent their army south to fight the Incas, now along the Coco River in Guatemala, where they fought the Battle of the Coco River, where the Aztecs won a decisive victory, forcing the Incas all the way back to Lake Nicaragua, where they had built a fort along the lake, which the Aztecs attacked in February 1625.
The Battle of Lake Nicaragua lasted two weeks, until Aztec riverboats broke the through the water defenses of the Inca's fort and forced the surrender of the Incas. The Aztecs now moved south to the isthmus, where the Incas had built up a large wall of defense along the the border to the Inca Empire. The Panama Line, as it was called, fell quickly to Aztec cannons, who then became part of the force that invaded the Inca Empire itself.
The Aztecs marched uncontested until they finally came to the Inca city of Quito, where 8,000 Incan soldiers held out for 3 months against a siege. But even after the Aztecs took the city, their forces had been damaged enough, that offensive movement were no longer possible. They were held up in the city for 4 months, until reinforcements came, and the Aztecs marched again in My 1627. They finally came upon the Incan capital city of Cuzco, where they found surprisingly little resistance. The city was only defended by 2,000 Incans, and was captured after only 1 week of fighting, forcing a final Incan surrender. Now the war had ended, but the treaty to end it still needed to be signed.
Treaty of Vienna and AftermathThe Treaty of Vienna was signed on October 24, in the damaged city of Vienna, capital of Austria. The representatives of all of the warring countries met in Vienna 2 months previous to draft a final peace treaty, and this is what the terms were:
- Austria and Spain will pay each country in gold one-half ounce for each of the hundred soldiers reported killed to each respective state.
- The Incan Empire shall recognize Aztec control of central America.
- China will recognize Japanese control of Taiwan and Korea.
- The Dutch Republic shall be recognized by all signatory states.
- The Byzantine Empire shall relinquish all claims to Florida.
- Austria and Spain will recognize Calvinism and Lutheranism as one of the official religions of the Holy Roman Empire.
The harsh terms of the treaty forced a massive economic depression for Spain and Austria, and the members of the Byzantium Pact celebrated their newfound wealth.
But meanwhile in the Holy Roman court, Emperor Ferdinand II struggled to keep the Empire together. And his worst troubles came to fruition when on January 18, 1630, Brandenburg-Prussia declared its secession from the Holy Roman Empire, soon followed were the many states of the Holy Roman Empire, and Ferdinand II declared the Holy Roman Empire extinct as of August 6, 1631. And now the states of the former Holy Roman Empire signed a series of treaties. Ultimately in 1651, a new authority was established by the Treaty of Berlin, whereby the official successor of the Holy Roman Empire was established, the German Confederation.