FICTION Glory of the Empire

Hapsburg

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FICTION Glory of the Empire

Okay, this is my alternate historical fiction. The whole story revolves around a fictional person I created, named Vandox, though his original name was Johann Strohwald, who becomes Holy Roman Emperor in 1790. He achieves this by spreading a message of German nationalism.
First off, here's a timeline to help you understand what is going on.

TIMELINE OF VANDOX?S LIFE:

August 1st, 1756 ? Johann Strohwald is born in Eisenach, Germany, to Leopold and Sophia Strohwald. Leopold is poor musician, working in the concert hall in Eisenach.

May 17th, 1764 ? Johann?s mother, Sophia, dies. Johan is eight. Her original name was Sophia Elisabeth von der Saale, heiress of a family of lesser nobility. She was cut off from the inheritance when she married Leopold Strohwald, a commoner. Johann and his father do not inherit her estate.

September 23rd, 1774 ? Johann leaves Eisenach to attend the University of Vienna. It is here that he learns the great teachings of the Enlightenment, and also it is at Vienna that he meets and falls in love with Maria Luise van M?ller. He studies the political art of oratory, and learns how to use his commanding voice and great genius to get people to follow him. This greatly aids him later in life.

June 7th, 1775 ? Johann and Maria are married. Johann?s father, Leopold, is in attendance, as is Maria?s family.

April 22nd, 1776 ? Maria gives birth to a son. They name him Vandox the Second (ordinal number), after a Dutch man Johann had known when he lived in Eisenach.

April 30th, 1776 ? Johann Strohwald formally changes his name to Vandox. It will be name that millions hall remember for centuries.

February 1781 ? Vandox Strohwald-M?ller and his family move back to Eisenach, where he gathers a group of men, and form a mercenary regiment, and serve the Dutch Army during the 4th Anglo-Dutch war. They succeed in aiding the Dutch to drive the British out of Holland.

1784-1789 ? Vandox begins speaking publicly in Eisenach, and soon all throughout Germany. He calls for a unification of the Germanic duchies and principalities as a cohesive force, working for the betterment of ALL of Germany, instead of for the betterment of each individual state. People listen, and words are spread.

At one particular speech in Frankfurt, dated 1787, one of the more impressionable listeners was the Archbishop of Mainz, and he took Vandox?s message to heart. He informed the other Electors, and the Habsburg Emperor. They listened well to the words Vandox had spoken. They began to think for the betterment of all of the people of the Empire. The Archbishops on Mainz, Trier, and Cologne, along with the Dukes of Prussia and Bavaria, convened at Frankfurt, and overturned the election of Leopold of Habsburg as King of the Romans. This left the Empire without an heir, meaning that the office of Emperor after Josef II would be void, and new one would HAVE to be elected.

February-March 1790 ? Emperor Josef II dies February 20th. The Elector of Mainz summons Vandox to Frankfurt, after gathering the other Electors. Vandox, surprised and confused, arrives there in early March. The Electors inform him that they have made a special case for him, that they have listened to his message, and have taken to heart his words. They tell him that they have considered him for candidacy as Holy Roman Emperor. Vandox is taken aback, that the great Princes and Dukes would ever think of electing him as Emperor. After a few days of deliberation, the Habsburg elector of Bohemia concedes his candidacy, and all of the Electors cast their vote for Vandox. He is formally voted in as ?Emperor-Elect? on March 17th, 1790. His ?special case? caused the Electors to draft a Wahlkapitulation that established new, somewhat absolutist, powers and rights for the Emperor. New powers enacted by Vandox?s 1790 Wahlkapitulation made him the literal, rather than symbolic, overlord of all Imperial fiefs.

April 11th, 1790 ? Emperor Vandox calls a Reichstag at Vienna, and the electors, dukes, princes, and sovereigns of the Empire convene. It is here that he drafts his proposal for an Imperial Constitution. In the document, he outlines new laws and decrees that establishes the Emperor as the official, de jure and de facto overlord of ALL Germany, and gives him an unprecedented amount of individual power. It also gave the Habsburg Archduke of Austria the new title of Grand Chancellor of the Empire, acting as a representative of the Emperor in international dealings, or if the Emperor and Crown Prince is ailing. The document also has statements that merge several small states into a collection of larger ones, while still retaining their individual sovereignty. The newly created merged states were each made Electorates, pleasing the somewhat disgruntled leaders. It also would have reformed the Reichhofrat, making it an effective federal body.

After a few revisions, which altered the face of the German Nations, the Reichshofrat ratified the constitution. In effect, the Vienna Reichstag and the constitution changed the Empire from a shattered association of warring German duchies and princedoms into a powerful federal nation-state.

Okay, here's part one of the story, which is the last battle of the French Campaign, the bloody battle of Paris:
[break=Part 1, Chapter 1]Chapter 3
[/LEFT]
Eugen von Otterbach stood and watched, his steel-blue eyes glaring over the horizon, waiting for the enemy to show themselves. His ?Ritterkreuz von der Heiliges R?misches Reich der deutschen Nationen,? or ?Knight?s Cross of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nations,? gleamed on his pale-blue uniform, the uniform of a Bavarian Ranger. The Rangers were a special combat division within the Imperial military, tasked with using unconventional tactics to gain the advantage of the enemy. Eugen was a proud man, coming from a family with a tradition of serving the Emperor, all the way back to the Crusades. His jet-black hair was cropped short, so that it did not get in his eyes. He lay upon a short hill, hidden by tall grasses, and held a Model 1795 breech loading rifled musket, capable of downing a man at 300 meters, unheard of with weapons in use by other nations; it was also equipped with a 5x-zoom scope, and used smokeless gunpowder cartridges.

Then, he heard drums. A fife. The enemy army was coming. A conch shell blew, and the Imperial troops readied themselves at the front line, loading their rifles, and taking positions in the grass, preparing to use a tactic that was quite effective: the spring-up. Emperor Vandox had devised the spring-up tactic while he was in the service of the Dutch military. The key of the tactic was to have a line of soldiers lying down in tall grass, out of view of an advancing enemy. When the enemy gets in range, they ?spring-up? and open fire, then duck back down, while the main line of soldiery blasts into the second line of the enemy. It was an ingenious tactic, and usually worked.

Eugen and his squad moved to a more forward position, and began to fire upon the advancing French. He targeted officers and sergeants. This would, in theory, demoralize the enemy and cause fear in their ranks. Hopefully, it would cause them to rout and surrender. The French approached.

As soon as the enemy came within 100 meters, a line of soldiers sprung up from the grass, and fired into the French soldiers. They ducked, and the line behind them fired. The first and second French lines dropped, dead or wounded. The remaining troops loaded their weapons and took aim. The muzzle-loading muskets did not fire quickly enough, and the French troops were felled very quickly, and began to run.

Eugen and his four squadmates ran down the hill, and began to fire indiscriminately, no longer picking their targets. There was no need to, for the enemy troops were in a full retreat. He ran to the rear lines, and asked the Captain permission to lead a charge after them.

?Ja selbstverst?ndlich Leutnant. Setzen Sie an Ihre R?stung, und folgen Sie ihnen!? the Captain replied.

Eugen ran to the rear lines, and donned his cuirassier?s armor. He mounted his horse and charged into the front. He shouted for the troops to follow him, and they charged after the French enemies. Other cavalry followed him, and gunfire rang out, killing many French troops. Eugen heard many booming reports, and saw cannonballs racing over his head, and crashed into the retreating enemies. He also saw several Frenchmen being tossed into the air by the force of the explosive shells.

Eugen came alongside a French soldier, and lopped off his head. The enemy collapsed, dead. Imperial dragoons and carabineers rode along the flanks of the running French, and opened fire. The short-range muskets tore through several enemies, and dropped a great many of them within minutes.

The Imperials chased the routing French all the way back to the fields, and continued to cut them down. Only 127 French soldiers returned to the gates of Paris, and quickly ran inside; but, not before Imperial Lancers impaled over forty of them.

It was a decisive victory, ending with over a hundred and fifty thousand French casualties, nearly 99% of their defensive force. The Imperial forces had lost a great many, as well. Four and half thousand combined forces from Germany, Western Poland, and Hungary had perished, and nearly twice as many were severely wounded. Still, Eugen thought after the battle, we won.

They had won the battle of Paris, and now the siege began. Total victory was within their grasp.

A 10-day siege consumed Paris, and the French surrendered on November 3rd, 1796. It took twenty more days to pacify the resistance. In the aftermath, France was made a protectorate under the governance of a Savoyard General, from the island Corsica, named Napoleon Bonaparte. A large part of eastern France, including Lorraine, Burgundy, Provence, and Western Flanders was ceded to the H.R.E. The war in Russia continued, as did the war along the Danube. By early 1797, both wars had ended after the sacking of Kiev, and the capture of Sofia.




Part II

Chapter 1

The wars were over, and Europe was enjoying a period of peace, rare in this continent, but thanks to Vandox, who had suppressed French, Russian, and Ottoman forces, this was now a reality. The Imperial military had recently developed a new weapon system: the lever-action repeater. Emperor Vandox, delighted, decided to display the new weapon by parading his troops at his capitol, Vienna.

The military march music blared. The orchestra under the balcony played ?Prinz Eugen Marsch?, and the Imperial troops marched through the main street, holding their new repeater rifles at their shoulders, followed by men on horseback, in full armor, holding lances. The standard?bearers were next, holding massive flagpoles, bearing the flag of the Empire: a black double-headed eagle on a gold field, and red letters ?H.R.R.D.N?. Thousands marched through the streets, and Vandox smiled. He was now the most powerful man in Europe, and the Holy Roman Empire was the most powerful nation. Vienna, the capitol of the H.R.E, had become the jewel of Europe. In a few years, it would become the jewel of the world. Vandox was planning for a major renovation project for his capitol, cleaning up many neighborhoods, and rebuilding broken structures. He planned to construct a new palace near the Imperial chancellor?s court. But, of course, that would take many more years, and much more money.

At the moment, he concentrated on replenishing his forces after the wars in France, Russia, and in Bulgaria. They had lost over half a million men, and needed a major restocking of good soldiers. Those wars left many dead, on both sides; but, now, as per the treaties signed at St. Petersburg, Le Havre, and Stara Zagora, these nations were now allies of Germany. They were obligated, thanks to a delicate political maneuver on Vandox?s part, to aid each other or the H.R.E until 1810.

Meanwhile, rumors were being spread around Europe that the British forces in Ireland, at the behest of King George III, were ruthlessly cracking down on Irish Catholics and Irish nationalists, forcing them to disband all political entities and convert to Anglicanism. These rumors had reached the ears of the Pope and even Emperor Vandox.

Vandox himself was a staunch Catholic, and thought of this rumor as the perfect reason for the Empire to attack Britain. After all, he had been planning an invasion of England for a couple years. This rumor positioned him, the Holy Roman Emperor, the vanguard of Catholicism, the strong arm of the Church, in the perfect place in the politics of religion, and in the perfect place to use it to his advantage.



Chapter 2


May 23rd, 1798. Southampton, England, United Kingdom.

The British troops were on the watch from the shoreline, watching for any disturbances. Several Royal Navy first-rates patrolled the channel between France and Sussex. They were on high alert, as rumors of a German invasion had been spread throughout Britain.

After all, British forces had heard tales of a 9,000-man German army taking down a 150,000-strong French force at Paris only two years ago. Other feats of military prowess achieved in Bulgaria and Ukraine had become well-known stories across Europe. Now, those fears had been brought to the doorstep of the British homeland.

Southampton laid just a small ways away from the shoreline. The shore itself was tucked into a narrow inlet, near the Isle of Wight. It would be hard for a ship to get past those natural defenses, never mind the twenty-some odd 100-gun Royal Navy ships.

John Torrington walked along the shoreline, holding his musket and looking out at the sea. It was growing darker, and he was growing tired. Suddenly, he heard dull thumps, and he looked towards the cannon emplacement. An explosive ball of metal struck it, and the cannon flew apart in a ball of fire. John was thrown to the ground, and several soldiers rushed to firing positions, readying their muskets.

John saw one of the British warships split in twain, and it began to sink. This was it, he thought, the invasion is beginning. Cannonballs sailed into the shore, exploding and sending shrapnel into the British infantrymen. No one could see the enemy ships, as there was a thick mist, almost like a fog. Then, John saw it: some two hundred landing boats, each with twenty German infantrymen, which had obviously disembarked from larger warships. The Imperials stood up in the wooden boats and fired their repeating rifles.

John felt a sharp pain in his abdomen, and looked down. As he did this, he felt five more bullets pierce his body. He stumbled along the shore, and toppled over a tree-stump, and fell into the sand. The last thing he saw before he died was a boat hitting the shore, and twenty Imperial German infantrymen leaping out, beginning the Invasion of Britain?





Chapter 3

The sun arose from the horizon, and the golden beams of lights stretched across a crater-spattered land. The short battle to control the beach had ended in a total defeat for the British. Dead redcoats lay across the shore, full of holes. A German camp was set up upon the shore, and a base of operations had been set up. Training areas were erected for pikemen and riflemen to practice bayonet and spear fighting. A firing range was also set up, near the barracks, so that the riflemen could continue to hone their shooting skills. Thousands of tents had been set up in the field nearby, and many more troops have landed. All told, there were about 8,000 soldiers clustered on the shores near Southampton. The Imperial Field Marshal, Gebhard von Blucher, sat atop his horse, and surveyed the area. He spotted his men working on a wooden fortification, setting up cannon emplacements, and scouting for enemies.

Suddenly, a young Lieutenant ran up to him, and handed him a small piece of parchment. On it, it detailed that a 10,000-man force of British Infantrymen were on their way to the encampment, intent on taking back the beach. Blucher looked up, and shouted for his officers to get infantry to either hill near the road that led to the field. It was here, that Blucher intended to ambush and ?bag? the British force.



Edward Stevens marched along his red-coated compatriots, his musket at his shoulder. As they neared the small canyon leading to the beach, he felt a great sense of pride. They marching to meet and defeat an enemy that had conquered Switzerland and the Italian States, not mention defeating Denmark, Russia, and the Ottoman Empire in several wars, in addition to thoroughly trouncing the French two years earlier.

As they passed under the shade of the trees growing off of the tall mounds, he saw a flicker of movement, but regarded it as nothing. Suddenly, he heard repeated cracks of rifles, and saw several of his allies crumple into the ground. Se stumbled around, and the next thing he knew, he was laying on the ground. He tried standing back up, but felt a searing pain in his leg. He had been hit, and critically. He saw many more men fall.

Then, a loud, booming, roar resounded and echoed off the walls of the low canyon, and cannonballs showered into the British troops. Explosive grenades sailed towards them. Roaring explosions sent men flying, and killed several hundred. Then, he heard an echoing trumpet call, deep and low. Two thousand cavalrymen rode in, behind their position, and Edward felt a pang of fear. German Imperial cavalrymen were among the best in the modern world, and were a greatly feared force. He heard gunshots ringing out. Dragoons, he thought, those bastards! They?re going to shoot us all to hell!



Lieutenant Ulrich von der Pfalz rode atop his horse, wearing the grass-green uniform of a Dragoon. He held his repeating rifle at his shoulder and fired upon the enemy. He sent off several slugs in quick succession, downing several British officers. He looked to his sides, and saw that his compatriots were firing grenades and shells into the enemy position. A block of infantry from the beach, led by von Blucher himself, charged at the enemy British. They were off in the distance.

Ulrich bellowed and charged, hoping to shock the enemy formation by crushing enemies beneath his horse. It was not to be, however. A British marksman managed to get a good shot at his horse, and he heard a pained neighing sound form from his horse?s mouth. The animal collapsed in a heap on the ground, and Ulrich toppled to the ground.

Everything was a blur, and he saw a redcoat fall from a gunshot. Ulrich stayed low, and swung his rifle in a wide arc, and heard a sickening crunch as the butt collided with a British soldier, and the enemy?s skull crumpled inwards. He thrust the fore end of the weapon at another enemy, and was rewarded with a scream as the bayonet went straight through the redcoat?s heart.

Then, for a moment, everything stopped, and Ulrich felt numbness in his leg. The numb feeling turned to searing pain and he realized that a stray musket ball had struck him in the leg, and he felt the limb give way, and he collapsed to the ground. He howled in pain, and felt his leg. His buckskin breeches were slick with blood, his off-white coat soaked red with the fluid. He crawled on the grass, and stared in blatant horror as men, British and Germans, fell all around him.

A sudden roaring brought his attention to the hillsides, which hemmed the roadway. Cannon shells sailed to the block if infantry now converged in the center of the road, and massive explosions sent people flying in all directions. One of them was Ulrich, hit by friendly fire. His body was sheared in half from the explosion and flying debris. He body, or what remained, landed in a clump on the ground, some 15 meters away. He looked up, and saw roaring fire, and explosions. His head slammed to the ground, and his shallow breathing grew ever more strained. Soon, his lungs hurt, and the last thing he saw was his own blood, pooling around him.



Field Marshal von Blucher shouted orders, and his troops fired into the British formation, which was more or less an encircled clump of infantry by now. His troops had successfully smashed them, and nearly destroyed the enemy. He saw, in the distance, a white flag wave. He gave the order for his men to hold their fire, and the message was sent to the other commanders on the ridges. Soon, firing stopped altogether, and his troops backed off. He few remaining British soldiers tossed muskets to the ground, and held their hands up in surrender. Blucher told his men to detain them, and take them to the camp.

The battle had been won, and the war had begun.

I've added quite a bit to the story so far, so here ya go:

Part III
Chapter I

June 19th, 1798. Near Salisbury, England, United Kingdom
Sergeant Ludwig Friederch von Mahren leaned his back against the dirt mound, and waited. His heart was pounding, and sweat soaked his forehead. He listened to the drums and fifes of the British troops awaiting the Imperial forces.
The German troops were waiting behind a low dirt wall, their rifles at the ready, with bayonets attached. Pikemen were stationed every hundred feet, and were also ready for the enemy onslaught. Behind the low defense was a hill, topped with a battery of cannons and howitzers. All told, there were 15,000 Imperial troops arranged along the wall, many of them young recruits. The sound of the British army grew closer?
Ludwig heard von Blucher order the troops to remain steady, and wait. He heard hoof beats. ?Mein Gott in Himmel,? Ludwig whispered quietly, ?eine Kavallerie laden auf! Sie werden versuchen, uns zu brechen, bevor die Schlacht anf?ngt!?
Then, Blucher gave the order, and Ludwig turned and pointed his bayonet-rifle off the top of the low wall. He heard screaming, and felt warm blood spray his face. The British commander must be a maniac, he thought, sending cavalry in a full charge! Ludwig fired his rifle, re-cocked the lever, and fired again. He looked to his side, and saw men with pikes, holding their spears in triumph, having impaled a British horse.
Then, he heard a loud roar, and a massive ball of lead sailed down, into the line, and blew him to pieces.

Across the field, the British commander, Colonel Erwin Starkey, looked on and laughed.
?Fools. They practically positioned themselves for to die. What do you think, Lieutenant?? he said.
?Sir, wasn?t that just a waste of lives, sir? I mean, we didn?t have to use the cavalrymen in such a blatant charge, sir.? Lieutenant George Edmund answered. His eyes were still wide, after watching his comrades fall in such a waste of men.
Starkey, a dark-featured, middle-aged Englishman, smirked, and answered back, ?It was worth it. They distracted the enemy with the charge long enough for our artillery to be brought up and shell them. Really, Lieutenant, you should think before you speak.?
Edmund was about to retort, was about to say something that it was a reckless waste of life, when his head snapped back. A hole in his forehead spouted blood, and he collapsed to the ground. Starkey immediately threw himself to the ground, and shouted, ?Damn it! Damn snipers! You, Major! Bring up the linemen! We shall meet their men on the field and slaughter them! Ah, ha! Ha, ha, ha!?

Corporal Friederich Goldwald stood, and shouldered his rifle. His memory was still fresh with scenes of horror and bloodshed from the Paris battle two years ago, but he still was able to keep enough attention focused on the battle at hand. He marched, along with his compatriots, forward, towards a red line in the distance. The British were approaching. He heard the Lieutenant give the order, and he readied his rifle, and cocked it. At the same time, the British forces loaded and readied their muskets.
The Imperials fired first, volley after volley of 13mm slugs tearing down red-coated Britons. Then, what was left of the front British line opened fire, sending a salvo of half-inch lead balls flying into the Imperial troops, who were just beginning to reload. The effect was immediate, and several German troops collapsed into heaps of flesh. Then, the two sides simply charged. The two forces slammed into each other, bayonet clinking against enemy bayonets, sword clashing against sword, blades slicing through flesh, and blood spilling onto the grass.
The confusion was too much for Friedrich, and he threw himself to the ground, cowering. Flashbacks of the French War appeared in his mind, and the shadows of falling and shifting bodies played hell with his vision, and he screamed. He couldn?t stop screaming. His base functions took over, and he curled into a ball, hiding amongst fallen bodies, cowering in fear. He felt helpless, like he could not do anything to prevent his death.
Then, a loud, blaring, high-pitched trumpet sounded, and the fighting stopped for a few moments. Then, men looked to the western hill, overlooking their field, and spotted a line of men atop horse, all wearing cuirasses, and one amongst them held a white flag with a black cross. The cavalry had arrived.
The horse lancers thundered down the hill, and brought their lances to the ready. The British infantrymen, without any sufficient time to load their muskets or draw their pistols, were thrown to the ground in mashed clumps of flesh slathered in blood. The German troops backpedaled, and watched the lancers pour down and impale several British troops. The cavalry charge swept through the broken formations, and red-coated soldiers fell. This diversionary charge gave the Imperials time to load more rounds into the breech of their repeaters, and take aim.

Starkey looked on in horror. They had used his favorite tactic, massed cavalry rush, against him. His face contorted in anger, and he said to his subordinates, ?Come, and let us get the hell out of here. Order what remains of our troops to fall back. We will retreat to just outside the city, and stage a defense there. Our offense has not proven well, but maybe we can present a good enough defense so as to make the Germans retreat?
And so, the orders were given, and the British men backed off, and ran towards the city.
The Imperials did not follow, however, and camped in the field. They would attack the next day, with reinforcements. Perhaps, Friedrich thought, we will finally win a battle.

Hundreds of miles away, in Vienna, Emperor Vandox sat in a balcony, listening to the new Piano Sonata no.8, by Ludwig van Beethoven, in the concert hall. When the sonata ended, he, along with everyone in the theater stood and applauded the genius, van Beethoven. Vandox himself had given much funding to the composer, in hope that the man would make many more pieces, and contribute to the rising power of the Empire.
He sat, and smiled. His armies were off fighting in Britain, and as far as he knew, they were winning the war, and gaining him even more power.

Chapter II
June 20th, 1798. Salisbury, England, United Kingdom.
Imperial troops stood atop the hills nearby Salisbury. The wind whistled softly as cannons were brought up to bombard the city. Congreve-style rocket ramps were brought up and positioned.
The British soldiers stood in front of the city, steadfast and silent. Officers shouted, and they loaded their muskets, pouring ball and powder down the barrel, and ramming the paper wadding down. Within 40 seconds, they had the weapons aimed and ready to fire.
General Rudolf von Mahren, famed for his victory at Khaskovo during the Turkish war in 1797, ordered the main cannon battery to fire. A hundred explosive cannonballs and rockets flew forth into the British line. At the same time, the British fired their smoothbores, downing several Imperial artillerymen. The rockets and cannonball smashed into the redcoats, sending up mounds of dirt and bodies.
Von Mahren mounted his horse, and charged down the hill, followed by his infantry forces and cavalry squadrons. His horse galloped into the shocked British troops, and the General cut several of the enemies down with his own sword. His lancers rode down and impaled hundreds of red-coated troops. Cuirassiers trampled over many a soldier, and rendered several British soldiers headless with steel sabers. Nearly thirty thousand infantrymen stood on the far end of the field and fire volley after volley of 13mm bullets into the mass of enemy soldiers.
Erwin Starkey stared about, and shouted orders, but his voice was drowned out by the roaring gunfire, and cries of dying men. He felt a bullet pierce his abdomen, and then screamed as his horse collapsed from several more gunshots. He crawled out from underthe dead animal, and managed to look up, and he saw a sword coming down to meet his face.

General Rudolf Wilhelm Friedrich von Mahren was an imposing figure; 6 feet, two inches tall, with short, brownish-black hair and watery-blue eyes. His dignified, beaklike, nose was a major feature of his face, as was the pecan-shaped eyes that simply demanded respect. So, when Colonel Erwin Starkey of the British Army gazed up and saw this giant of a man bearing down on him with a sword, he froze in fear, his heart skipped a beat or two, and panic consumed him. Adrenaline rushed through him, and blood coursed his veins rapidly. Just as quickly this fear overtook him, it ended abruptly. The German commander?s sword came down upon Erwin, and split his head in twain. Blood fountained forth, and splashed Rudolf?s coat, and covered his blade in the red liquid. For a moment or two, the battle ceased. A silence descended the field, and all men glanced in the direction of the fallen Colonel. Von Mahren turned around and charged, sword drawn, bellowing a war cry, into the chaotic clash of soldiers.
Nearly an hour, and several hundred soldiers, later, the battle was over, and all of the surviving British troops had routed. Friedrich Goldwald sat by a campfire that night, pondering the battle. Had it been a fluke? Did they just win out of sheer luck? Nein, he thought to himself, Nein! He erased these doubts from his mind, and reassured himself that they would win this campaign. He owed it to the General, to Marshal Blucher, and to the Emperor, to remain dutiful to the Imperial Army. No matter what, he determined, he would fight, fearlessly and without hesitation. He banished his fears, his nightmares, and his uncertainties from his head, and poked the fire, hoping to keep the warmth of it last a little while longer.

Chapter III
The Imperial army marched through England, capturing several cities. Winchester, Newbury, Swindon, Gloucester, Ashford, and Northampton all fell to the golden, eagle-adorned, banner of the Empire. All through these epic battles, the Imperial forces suffered few losses, whilst thoroughly destroying any British force that dare oppose it. This was due, of course, to the repeating air rifle that was standard to Imperial troops. The weapon they carried was superior to the standard, muzzle-loading, musket that their enemies had. It enabled a singled infantryman to fire up to twenty rounds in quick succession, fix bayonet, and charge, full-strength, into a vastly depleted enemy line. The tactic was effective, in offensive warfare. But, defensively, the Empire was not as prepared. Especially for a small regiment of 1,100 soldiers in the fortress of Fort Kensington, renamed by the Germans as ?Kaiserschlo?, on the stifling morning of August 9th.

Theodor inhaled slowly, and glanced about his surroundings. The sky was blue, cloudless, and the sun shone brightly in his eyes. It seemed like it was going to be another tedious day of watching the horizon for British soldiers. Theodor swore, and thought to himself, they?d never attack Kaiserschloss, not in a hundred years. They aren?t that stupid. Even if they did, this fortress is well defended. Our walls will never be broken.
He leaned against the brick wall, and started to doze off, when a sudden rumble sent him stumbling to the floor. He stood back up, and looked over the wall, and saw about 1,550 British soldiers marching towards the fortification, regimental cannons interspersed between the infantry, sending ball after ball into the walls of Kaiserschloss. Brick, stone, and mortar went flew about, striking several soldiers, wounding and killing them.
Theodor grabbed his rifle, and started shooting at the enemy soldiers, who were now advancing, ever faster, ever closer. Soon, he was completely out of ammunition, and he tossed the weapon aside, and ran to the armory to get another weapon, a musket, a pistol, anything. He snatched a flintlock pistol from a pile, and hurried back to the barricade, but as soon as he took aim at a British cavalryman, he felt a lead musketball tear his throat open, and he dropped to the floor, and drowned in a puddle of his own blood.

Friedrich Goldwald, now an experienced veteran of many battles throughout the campaign, loaded his rifle and exchanged the air reservoir for a full one. His hands were shaking, but he quickly put his fear aside. He stood in line with the other soldiers, and they marched to the front gate. The doors swung open, and let the column of Imperials pass through. They were going to fight the British attackers on the field, a risky tactic.
About 950 Imperials stood on the field, waiting for the British to come within range of their rifles. The redcoats marched closer, 200 meters. Friedrich started to sweat, and began to tremble. One-fifty meters. His hands were now shaking, and he felt nauseous. One-twenty meters. The German officer behind him bellowed, at the top of his lungs, ?Feuer!?
That was all Friedrich needed to hear; he pulled the trigger, in unison with the other troops, and they sent a volley of thirteen-millimeter lead balls into the British line. They reloaded, pressing a side level in, forcing another ball from the magazine and into breech, again in unison, and fired once more. They kept firing, until there was no more ammo left. The British numbers on the other side of the field were now much lessened, but staunch as ever, they continued to load and reload their flintlock muskets and pour bullet after bullet into the white-coated Imperial line.
The German infantry attached their bayonets to their rifle barrels, and prepared to charge. By this time, around half of their men had fallen, but they remained vigilant. The officer gave the order ?Auf! Aufladung, truppen! Auf!? and so they did. The Imperials ran at full speed into the British line, their eyes alight with fearlessness, bellowing the ancient war cry, ?F?r Christ! F?r Deutschland! F?r das Reich!?
Bayonet clashed with bayonet, sword with sword, and blood mixed into the soil. The Imperials soldiers, all veterans of the wars of 1797, were almost about to send the British into a rout, when a contingent of armored Cuirassiers, holding the banner of Saint George, a red cross on white, galloped into the fray. The effect was immediate: with no dedicated pikemen in their numbers, and now totally outnumbered and outflanked by British infantry and cavalry, the Imperials began to run back to the fortress.

The British immediately besieged the fortress, and for two days continued to shell it. Finally, on August the 12th, they attacked. This time, they aimed to bring down one of the brick walls instead of the well-defended gate. Hundreds of British infantry and several cannons were pulled up to the left flank of the fort, and began the attack.
Friedrich sat inside the fortress, and thought to himself, Goddamn it! How can we survive this now? They have us surrounded, outnumbered, out-gunned. We may have better weapons, but against these numbers and their cannons, it is all for naught. He sighed, and grasped his rifle. He knew it was time, for one last stand.
The wooden support beams on the walls splintered, and the bricks crumbled into ash. Nearly 800 British men stood in front of the recently blown hole in the wall. When the dust cleared, to their surprise, a hundred German cavalrymen, decked out in white coats with large black crosses on them, holding lances and sabers stood silently before them. Many redcoats let out a collective gasp at the sight, and their faces contorted to fear as the lead Imperial horseman bellowed in anger, and charged, followed by his Teutonic knights and Teutonic sergeants. The British infantrymen turned and ran, a few stood still and fired their muskets, but they were quickly silenced forever, impaled or beheaded by lances and swords.
 

Hapsburg

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Jun 26, 2005
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Re: GLORY OF THE EMPIRE

So, what do you people think thus far?
 

ironside100

Junior Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
49
Re: GLORY OF THE EMPIRE

Hey thats good stuff! We hav'nt had much indepth alternate history here in this forum yet and this makes a welcome change. Seems you have clearly researched your project well im not in a position to comment on the accuracy but it all seemed beleivable, Its good stuff and I hope to see more of it!
 

Hapsburg

New Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2005
Messages
9
Re: GLORY OF THE EMPIRE

Thanks. I've written up to chapter three. I'll post some more tomorrow, I'm tired right now...my sleep schedule keeps gettin' screwed up during summer...
But thanks.
 

w00t w00t

New Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2005
Messages
7
Re: GLORY OF THE EMPIRE

I've read your story through and not only is it well written, I'm also very anxious to see what happens next.

Your views are very interesting and I'll keep following this thread as you continue.
 

Hapsburg

New Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2005
Messages
9
Re: GLORY OF THE EMPIRE

Thanks. On other sites where I've posted my story, I've gotten...somewhat bad comments. This site is a pleasant reverse.
I'm still typing up the scenes for the siege of Salisbury, but I'll get it posted soon.
:D
 

Hapsburg

New Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2005
Messages
9
Re: GLORY OF THE EMPIRE

NOTICE:
I have changed the mechanism for the main Imperial infantry weapon.
Instead of an unrealistically advanced lever action repeater (this story takes place in the 1790s, remember), I have rethought and decided to have them use a contemporary and realistic weapon system: the Giradoni repeating Air-Rifle.
 

w00t w00t

New Member
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Jul 12, 2005
Messages
7
Re: GLORY OF THE EMPIRE

<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(\"Hapsburg\")</div>
NOTICE:
I have changed the mechanism for the man Imperial infnatry weapon.
Instead of an unrealistically advanced lever action repeater (this stoy takes place in the 1790s, remember), I have rethought and decided to have them use a contemparary and realistic weapon system: the Giradoni repeating Air-Rifle.[/b]
I agree. I was going to say something but I thought it was, after all, a different timeline.

Lever Action repeater came out of the Civil War in the US. Smokeless powder even later, out of France in the 1880's I think.
 

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