The Siege of Vienna
In 1528 the Ottoman war machine had summed up a force of over 150,000 men and began to siege the city of Vienna. The dry summer season meant that the Ottoman army proceeded faster then usual across Hungary, to reach Vienna by early August. Suleiman ordered the city to be completely surrounded, and began attacking the makeshift city walls with Bombards. The Austrians made raids against Ottoman soldiers attempting to enter the city. Although the Austrians at first appear successful, they sustain heavy casualties and begin to starve. As the Ottomans wait, Suleiman constructs a small fort nearby to host his troops for the winter. Both sides are growing impatient, the Austrians especially desperate. In a last bid for supplies, the Austrians attack the Ottoman lines, and are massacred. Janissaries then storm the city and loot it. Suleiman orders a lenient policy to the Austrians, and keeps his army in the city for the winter. While some churches are converted into mosques, the Austrians are largely left alone. As the winter ends in 1529, the Ottomans easily conquer the rest of Austria.
Conquest of the Mediterranean
By 1536 the Ottomans had defeated the remaining warlords in Hungary, Austria, and Romania, and had turned their attention to the Mediterranean. Stunned by the conquest of Austria, the Habsburg dynasty in Spain realized how vulnerable their empire was. With rebellions by Aztecs in Mexico, the Habsburg empire was weakening. Spain began a campaign in North Africa to enter the Ottoman sphere of influence. The pirate Hayreddin Barbarossa, a maverick admiral in the Ottoman Navy, lead an extensive campaign against them. His fleet defeated the Spanish in the Battle of Tunis, pushing the Spanish to Morocco. The campaign in Morocco was long and drawn out. By 1539, Barbarossa had defeated the Spanish and had secured control over most of North Africa, including Tunis and Algiers. France, impressed by the Ottoman victories, offered an alliance against Spain, an alliance Suleiman was only too happy to accept.
In 1540, Barbarossa began large scale raids on the Italian coast. The main target of the raids was Habsburg Naples, and many Italians feared being sent east as slaves. But Suleiman was interested in the Republic of Venice, who threatened Ottoman dominance in the Eastern Mediterranean. He blockaded Venecian Cyprus, and prepared an invasion. The Venecians feared an attack on Cyprus, never suspecting an attack on Venice itself. In 1541 Suleiman ordered a hundred thousand man army from the Balkans into Venice. Barbarossa blockaded the city, and despite a desperate defence Venice fell. However, this was not before invoking its alliance with Spain, who then prepared a counter-invasion. Suleiman quickly secured control over Venetian islands excepting Cyprus, who gave way to a fifty thousand man siege. Cyprus, stripped of its protector quickly surrendered. Suleiman then turned his attention to Italy. His armies in Venice clash with the Habsburgs in Naples. France invades Spain and Northern Italy to crush the Habsburgs once and for all. Barbarossa leads a surprise attack on Rome, capturing the Pope and his court as they try to escape to Spain. He sends the Pope's head to Suleiman, who is shocked by this display of barbarianism. He fears Barbarossa jeopardizes his regime and the peaceful assimilation of the Italians into the Empire. He secretly prays for Barbarossa's death.
With the Habsburgs occupied with defending their heartland from the French, Italy is easy prey for the Ottomans. The Italians are crushed in the Battle of Ravenna, and retreat further south. The French, after a year, successfully conquer Piedmont, and go as far south as Tuscany. But they are too occupied in Spain and the Netherlands. Barbarossa bombards Naples and takes the city. The Ottomans proceed well until they reach Sicily, where, in the far south of the Italian Peninsula, the numerous islands are difficult to take. The Ottomans successfully siege Venician Dalmatia, but it distracts from the war effort in Italy. Barbarossa takes control of Palermo, but drowns near Sardinia. Eventually, Suleiman gathers his army to attack Malta, where the Italians have been staging attacks on the Ottomans. The Knights of St. John hold out for half the year, but, with no supplies forthcoming, eventually starve to death. After the fall of Malta, the Turks defeat the remaining Habsburgs in Italy. It is 1544.
The collapse of the Catholic church
The fall of Rome to the Islamic Ottomans was a blow from which the Catholic Church would never really recover. With no clear successor to to Paul III, four cardinals appeared, each claiming to be the rightful Pope. There was the Cardinal Fardnesse, who had escaped the sack of Rome to Avignon, France. Cardinal Benedict XIII ruled from Seville. There was also a Scottish pope and a Bohemian Pope. Benedict and Fardnesse became the major rivals for the title. Eventually, Benedict won out, even though Fardnesse was Paul III's grandson. The French king, who despised the Catholic Church as associated with the Spanish, used the fall of Rome as an opportunity to slowly shift the state religion to the Huguenots, leaving Fardnesse with no support. In Germany, Lutheranism became predominant. England and Portugal broke off and formed their own respective, national churches. Italy was largely stripped of its Catholic influences by the Ottomans. By 1600, Spain was the last major Catholic nation on earth.
The Persian Wars
With the Ottomans occupied in Italy, their eastern frontier was unguarded. The Persians, seething from defeats in which they lost control of Mesopotamia, planned invasion. In 1543, the Persians seized Basra and Baghdad, and sent an army into Anatolia. After the Italian war, Suleiman turned his armies eastward. In 1545, Suleiman lead a massive offensive in Mesopotamia, retaking Baghdad. He then played a game of cat and mouse with the Persian army, chasing it all around the region. By 1547, the Ottoman navy had reached the gulf, and bombarded Persian ports. The death of the Shah from pneumonia contributes to Persian disorder. The Ottoman army then assaulted Tabriz, another long siege. The Ottomans did eventually emerge victorious, largely due to their superior artillery. With fresh troops landing on the Southern Persian coast, the Ottomans press into the heart of the Persian Empire, taking the capital Tehran, and reducing the Empire to a rump state in the east with its capital at Isfahan. The Persian Empire would never be a serious rival again.
With the military exhausted from the various wars, Suleiman decides that there will be no major conquests in the 1550's. The massive debt accumulated in this period would be paid off by a tax on Non-Muslims and Shias. This leads many of the less observant Christians within the Empire to embrace Islam. Despite this tax, tolerance of religion is largely maintained. Ottoman influence in India also expands during this period, with the Ottoman conquest of the Muscat Sultanate serving as a window to the East.
The Conquest of Spain
By 1560 the army had fully re-charged and now Suleiman was looking for a fresh war in Europe. Peace and stability had successfully flourished throughout the 1550s, but now was a new decade. Suleiman wanted to open a new front in Europe and also once and for all end the Catholic church, he also wanted to liberate Spain and restore it to the Muslims once again. Massive resources had to be put in. A land and sea attack had to be made. The mobilization of thousands of North Africans and Ottomans was prepared and from Algiers the invasion began. A direct assault was made on Almeria which fell with little resistance due to the surprise attack. The second force attacked East at Valencia the city which was reduced due to the Ottomans' overwhelming numbers, they also managed to capture the Balearics. The first army marched North capturing Granada killing thousands of soldiers defending it. From Granada they marched south Malaga and Seville destroying two larger armies in the process. Within two months most of Southern and Eastern Spain had fallen, and the Spanish king was captured at Toledo and executed. The Spanish continued resistance for another month after the fall of the government, but realising their defeat and the kindness of the Ottomans the Spaniards were given in to the Sultan. With Spain re-conquered and given its old name "Al-Andulus" the Ottomans were now very high regarded throughout the Muslim world, not only as the leader of the Muslim world but now it was the protector and giver. The whole of the Muslim world including Suleiman himself celebrated with joy over the re-conquest of Spain. Although mercy was given to the population massive reprisals were made, the Ottoman soldiers remembering the Spanish Inquisition and the mass killings of their fellow Muslims, killed and plunged many in Granada, Cordoba, Valencia, Toledo and Seville. Cordoba was once again made Capital of Muslim Spain.
The French were also pleased with the conquest of Spain. France had attacked Northern Spain and settled border disputes in their favor while the Spanish were distracted by the Ottomans. The Navarre region was now part of France. France had also conquered parts of the Spanish Netherlands (Belgium), and was now the world's most dominant Christian power. However, France now bordered the Ottoman Empire, and slowly came to fear its powerful ally.
The New World
With the Conquest of Spain complete, Suleiman turned his attention to the Habsburg Empire in the New World. Many of the Spanish had escaped Europe, heading to their colonies in Mexico and the Caribbean. In 1563, Suleiman sent a fleet of corsairs to the Caribbean. Reaching Havana, the Ottomans demanded the Spanish surrender. When the Spanish refused, the Ottomans bombarded the city, and quickly seized control. Janissaries then pursued the surviving Spanish into the jungles. Similar situations occurred in Spanish outposts across the Caribbean. Both the Janissaries and the Spanish suffered heavy casualties from yellow fever. It was then fortunate for the Ottomans when several of the African slaves living on the islands rose in revolt to join the Ottomans, many who were which Muslims taken from West Africa. The former slaves served as reinforcements for the tired Ottoman army. The Spanish, unaccustomed to the climate, starved in the jungles. The Ottomans had taken over Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica, and various other scattered islands. When news reached Istanbul of the conquest, Suleiman, rejoicing, sent ships to Africa in order to reunite the slaves with their families.
By 1566, the former slaves had joined the Janissaries happy to join their fellow Muslims, and were preparing for an invasion of Mexico to aid Aztec rebels. The Spanish had barely kept hold to Mexico despite their superior firepower. After taking Veracruz, the Janissaries joined with the natives to march on Mexico City. Outnumbered and outgunned, the Spanish held on desperately, fortifying the walls to delay the Ottomans. The siege lasted for a month, but the expected reinforcements for the Spanish never came, and the city fell. The Ottomans then laid claim to all the new world for Islam, including the former Spanish holdings in South America, which soon came under their control. In actuality, most areas were still controlled by local tribes. Many of the natives were allowed special status in the Empire, as long as they abandoned their practice of Human sacrifice. Resistance against the Ottomans would continue throughout the rest of the century, though with superior technology, the Ottomans extended their hold over all of Central America.
After the Spanish Inquisition, many Jews felt that they needed their own homeland to protect themselves from anti-semitism. Suleiman's advisor, Ibrahim Pasha, was in particular an adherent of this idea. With the sparsely populated North America for the taking, the Ottomans funded a Jewish colony in the New World, under Ottoman Control but with autonomy. In 1570, New Jerusalem (OTL Charleston) was established. Although the Jews came into conflict with the local Cherokee, over the next century, New Israel had developed into a flourishing colony.
Worried by the expanding Ottoman control, Portugal and France sent expeditions to the New World as well.
African Muslim Slaves
The liberated slaves were given the choice of either returning back to Africa to see their long lost families or to stay in the New world and help their brothers build a great Islamic civilization. Half went back to Africa and half stayed in the New world (the non-Muslim slaves were also half and half), many went to back Africa and came back with their families to begin a new life. In Ottoman America slavery was strictly banned so all Africans were free men who could purchase conquered land. The New world was now seen as the place of freedom and equality. They helped to contribute greatly bringing African Islamic culture and civilization to Ottoman domains.
Expansion in Eastern Europe
After the fall of Austria, Ottoman soldiers seized control of Hungary, Moldavia, Transylvania, and Wallachia in one long, grueling campaign in the 1530's. With Austria gone, there was nothing to prevent Ottoman expansion in Eastern Europe. Ottoman troops soon reached the border of Poland. The Ottomans made some raids into Eastern Bavaria, and conquered the area in the late 1540's, defeating the self-proclaimed Pope John XIII, who had rallied the Catholics in the area in a crusade against the Muslims who had sacked Rome. The various nations of Germany would become Ottoman vassals by 1600.
The 1550's saw the Ottomans fighting against various Moldavian warlords, who were supplied by Poland. The Polish gradually advanced southward, with the Ottomans distracted in different provinces. After the conquest of Spain, the Ottomans turned north, against the Poles in a total of three wars. The first war had only Ottoman advances in Southern. The second was a Polish victory. But the Poles soon became distracted from a war with Russia, which they appeared to be winning. Finally, in 1581 a massive assault lead to the collapse of the Polish Kingdom, and Poland's ally Lithuania was quickly overrun. Soon, Janisarries reached the shores of the Baltic.
In 1571, the Crimean Khanate, an Ottoman vassal, continued raids into the Muscovy Khanate, which had been devastated from the war with Poland, even raising the capital of Moscow to the ground. When Ivan IV killed himself and the entire royal family, the Ottomans built settlements there. Over the next two decades, the Crimean Khanate with the support of Ottoman troops in Hungary gradually ate away at the Russian kingdoms that sprout out after Ivan's death. With the fall of Novgorod in 1592, the Ottomans controlled all of mainland Eastern Europe.
Conquest of France
In 1571 tensions began on the border and not wanting France to make establishments in the New world, Sulieman ordered 100,000 troops made up of Ottoman and Spaniard Muslims from the west to cross the Pyrenees and from the east another 100,000 made up of Ottoman and Italian Muslims cross the Alps making a two-front attack. Border towns although heavily garrisoned fall one by one, troops flood the countryside. From the west Toulouse offers still resistance but after two days falls. From the east they capture Marseille. One by one Bayonne and Bordeaux all fall. But always with stiff resistance the Muslim armies once again reach Tours. In a heavy confrontation the French receive a heavy blow and revenge sparks in the air the entire city is drenched with the blood of the French. The Ottomans were now at the gates of Paris and France barely able muster a force was at the mercy. The Ottoman army began a siege of 12 days, it ended by the city being captured through assault. Charles IX accepted Islam and gave over his kingdom to the Sultan Selim III, he was given due respect and a handsome retirement. Resistance in coastal cities continued for a little longer until, however, it ended sometime after. The conquest of France proved to be the mightiest conquest yet, within only eight months the entire country was shattered under the hooves of the Ottoman horses, the Ottoman Muslims were now the complete masters of all Southern and Central Europe.
The fall of New France
The swift conquest of France led to the Ottomans forgetting about the massive French possessions in North America, with swift invasion, territory after territory fell and all flee-ers from France were hunted down and eliminated within weeks. Morale was low and by one year all of what is now Canada was under the control of the Ottoman Empire. The Ottomans were now the most dominating and fearful nation in the entire globe, nobody dared to go to war against it after that.
The massive wars in Europe and in the Americas led the Ottoman Empire to come under exhaustion although this did not mean the Empire was weak or vulnerable, it only meant it would not make any invasions for sometime. The Sultan declared that the Empire would not participate in any wars for the rest of his reign. Massive fortifications along the European frontier, however, were made on large scales, forts, towers, castles and strong garrisons were put in place. The peace allowed the Empire to maintain an Empire rather then building one and it also paved way for Ottomanisation of the new lands. It allowed the Empire to concentrate on patronage and art and it gave it a break instead of being in constant warfare.
Expansion in India
In 1607 the Ottoman Empire decided it was time to expand its borders once again. The new Sultan, Sahin Hussien, summoned an army of 140,000 to invade India. Sahin quickly cuts through the already dying Persian empire in the east and uses Isfahan as a base of operations for the conquest of India. Sahin marches into India where he begins to siege Rajasthan's main fort. The army of Rajputs manages to hold off Sahin for nine days, but then the Ottoman army smashes into the Fort where they slaughter the 50,000 Rajputs that were garrisoned inside by using their Mamluk cavalry and the highly skilled Jannisaries. This victory gives Sahin control over all of Rajasthan. This loss angers the Mughal Emperor and he sends a massive army to drive Sahin out of India. The army consisted of 100,000 infantry armed with matchlocks, 30,000 cavalry, and 1500 War Elephants. However, Sahin knows that it will take ten days for the army to reach his location. The Ottoman soldiers are trained by locals on how to command war elephants, and by the end of the week, Sahin has 1000 trained war elephants under his command. For the final three days before the Mughal army gets to the Ottomans, the Ottomans build more fortifications around the fort and Sahin packs barrels of Black powder near a dam that he plans to blow in order to flood the Mughal force. The day the Mughal's arrive Sahin destroys the dam, flooding the land and killing one third of the enemy's infantry, and half the cavalry and several elephants. The wet ground makes the soldiers slip and fall, and by the end of the day the force is annihilated. Sahin captures the enemy general, who happens to be the emperor's son. The emperor makes an offer with Sahin that he will give the Ottomans a mass amount of gold and supplies that will last the Ottoman army nine months in exchange for his son. Sahin happily agrees and so the exchange is made.
Over the next several weeks Sahin conquers almost all of northern India except for Delhi, the Capital of the Mughal empire. Sahin desperately wants Delhi, but his force had been weakened and 300,000 soldiers were stationed in Delhi. Sahin contacts the Marathas, and Indian empire that was rising in South India. The Marathas hate the Mughals, so an alliance is made between the Ottoman empire and the Marathas Confederacy. Together, they build a massive army consisting of Ottoman and Martha soldiers. They lay siege to Delhi for two months and finally Delhi falls and Delhi is now Ottoman territory. Sahin now controls the top half of India and the Marathas the southern half. A formal alliance is made, and Sahin goes back to Istanbul.
Reformation of the Empire
By 1650, the Ottoman Empire had decided to make some changes to the empire. Thanks to its vast size, it was getting difficult for the Sultan to manage alone. So the Sultan appointed his best officials to each govern and manage a section of the empire. However, they all still had to answer to the Sultan and could not go to war without his permission. This made the empire easier to rule and it made the people happy, but it also kept the empire unified. The Sultan himself ruled a section of the empire. Also, the military was changed as well. The matchlock was replaced by the flintlock, which only the Janissaries were allowed to use before. Mamluks and Sipahis were given Flintlock pistols to use, thus effectively converting them into dragoons. Heavy cavalry was still maintained and would remain a vital part in the Ottoman military. Plug bayonets were put on the soldiers' muskets and the Ottoman kilij would be used only by Janissaries as a weapon for close quarters combat. Cannons were improved and grenades were introduced to the common foot soldiers. All of these changes made the Ottoman Empire more powerful than ever.
Conquest of Britain
The Ottoman governor of France, Ibrahim Selam, was looking to expand his northern borders and therefore asked permission of the Sultan, Sahin agreed and allowed Ibrahim to muster a force of 500,000 soldiers mostly made up from French Muslim converts. Britain although weary ever since France fell to the Muslims, had began to relax after years of waiting for an invasion but never coming, were surprised when the soldiers landed on the English beachheads.