History of Byzantine Empire after 1453Edit
The Failed Siege of Constantinople and the AftermathEdit
The failed Siege of Constantinople in 1453 was a disaster for the Turks. Byzantine forces, numbering tens of thousands, rallied at Constantinople. The remnants of the armies that defended Athens and Thessalonika retreated there for a last stand. The mighty walls of Constantinople, aided by the cannon batteries that defended the walls, defeated the Turks and drove them back with great loss. The Turks were forced back from Constantinople, and only 30% of the forces that Mehmed II led returned with him across the Bosphoros. That it was a disaster was an understatement; usurpers within the Turkish nobility rose up and questioned the Sultan's authority and raised their armies against him. So marked the beginning the raging Turkish Civil War. It was during that time that some of the vassal states of the Ottoman Empire rose up in revolt.
The Byzantines seized that moment to retake back all of Greece, and by the end of 1470, eastern Anatolia had returned to Byzantine control, from Nikea, Sophia to Ephesus. Retaking back all of Byzantine territory would take a century, but it was a goal that the state was determined to reach. It would take the country nearly 2 centuries to recover from the centuries of war, but taking back Anatolia, the breadbasket of the Empire, would ensure the Empire's recovery as a Great Power.
In this period, trade with Shroomania was reopened, as the Empire fought back to retake its former position as the premier trading nation in the Mediterranean. State funded companies, Constantinople Shipping and Constantinople Shipyards, were born as the State put its entire force of will behind them. The Emperor vigorously directed a revival of the Byzantine economy and the Byzantines experienced a second Renaissance not seen since the beginning of the millennia.
All of Anatolia was Retaken in 1515Edit
The Byzantine Empire, under Emperor Aeolus II retook all that remained of Turkish Anatolia and restored the Empire to the old extent of Basil II. Some decades or so later the Shadow Republic was born on the western borders of the Empire. Emperor Aeolus II, anxious to avoid potential conflict, given the relative fragile state of the Empire, which was still attempting to consolidate its latest gains and rebuilding the economy and military which was spent after much fighting with the remnants of the Turkish feudal lords, sent greetings to the Shadow Republic and promises of friendship, which was reciprocated.
In the east, the Arabs had taken advantage of the collapse of Turkish rule as well, and formed the Abassad Caliphate. They would be the chief foes of the Byzantine Empire for the next few centuries, but they themselves had wounds to lick after the bloody revolt.
The Byzantine Empire renewed its old friendship with the Russian Princes, in hope of bolstering trade. With PeZookia, there was some wheeling and dealing with the Catholic state, of which the Church of Constantinople was eager to bring the Church there under its influence, and the Byzantine Emperor eager for an ally to guard the north. The Emperor simply was pursuing the old diplomatic tactic of playing off nation against nation, hoping to reap the benefits of their rivalry. With Shroomania, the trade war continued, as both states fought over trade routes and so forth. Some degree of privateer activity occurred, though both Empires tried their best to keep things civil, albeit competitive.
Eruption of War between Shroomania and the Byzantine Empire in 1614Edit
The Trade War finally took an ugly turn when trading vessels on both sides starting attacking each other on sight. By then, the Byzantine Empire had recovered its old strength, with a modern fleet of frigates and many Ships of the Line. The Imperial Byzantine Navy retaliated, leading to a sack of a Shroomanian outpost at Crete. The Emperors always regarded Crete as sovereign Byzantine territory and it burned in their hearts that a hated rival dared to take root near them. The attack was led by the Imperial Byzantine Marines who landed and assaulted the citadel, backed by a fierce artillery siege train. Days of bombardment by the fleet and the artillery batteries finally broke the fortress open and the Marines assaulted and took the citadel, raising the Byzantine flag above it.
The Shroomanian King would have none of it, and sent the Shroomanian fleet to retake the fortress. Both sides were building up their armies near the borders, waiting the right time to strike. The Second Battle of Crete involved both navies and ended in a stalemate. At one major battle near Crete, the Byzantine use of their famed Greek fire loaded into their cannon balls proved decisive, but the collapse of the eastern flank of the fleet forced the main body to reinforce the flank, giving time for the Shroomanian fleet to withdraw. Losses on both sides were even.
On land, the Imperial Byzantine Army met the invading Shroomanian Army on the borders near the Shadow Empire. Fighting was fierce, with the battles going both ways any point of time. Scorch earth tactics were employed on both sides, forcing both armies to resupply constantly to avoid overextending themselves. More naval conflicts were fought as well, with occasional Byzantine as well as Shroomanian defeats.
In the end, a truce was signed, with Shroomania agreeing to Byzantine control of Crete, with Byzantine concessions allowing Shroomanian vessels to trade directly at Constantinople with less tax than before. Previously, they were only allowed to trade at Athens. No vessel was allowed to fire upon each other, and both sides agreed to have a common court of arbitration, to arbitrate future trading disputes.
Arab wars in 1690Edit
The Abassad Caliphate launched a massive assault on Antioch from Damasca. Numbering half a million, the massive army approached Antioch with a large siege train. Mullahs were crying Jihad against the Infidel Empire, and the masses were roused with great fervor.
The Byzantine spies had alerted the Emperor, and 100000 were marched to Antioch to defend the city. What the Arabs lacked was a strong modern navy. The Imperial Byzantine Navy routed the pitiful Arab navy, and the Imperial Byzantine Marines and Army, led by the future Emperor Heraclius II, assailed Acre and Ascalon and made a daring march for Jerusalem, surrounding the city with fortifications and laid siege to the city, pounding the city walls to dust day and night.
The Arab army heading north was now in a difficult position, whereas they were mere kilometers Antioch, the threat down south, on Jerusalem, the sacred city no less, was a threat that none could ignore. Least of all the Sultan, whose religious credibility hinged on the Abassads retaining control of the city. Dividing their army, a proportion laid siege to Antioch, while 20000 marching south to relieve Jerusalem.
But it was too late, the Byzantine Prince retook Jerusalem. Alerted by scouts, the Byzantine armies waited near an oasis. When the tired Arab army marched by, the ambush was sprung; the southern army was routed, and the victorious army marched for Damascus.
Meanwhile, the siege of Antioch was fierce. Byzantine artillery shelled the besieging Arab armies day and night with an endless supply of ammunition, and the morale of the Arab army ebbed due to disease, and the constant bombardment. News of the arrival of the Byzantine Army on the outskirts of Damascus sent the commanders into a panic. They tried to withdraw from the siege, only to be attacked by the besieged who launched a massive sortie to drive out the invaders. The Arabs were routed and most never made it back to their homeland. The Sultan, frightened by the loss of so much men, begged for a truce from the victorious Prince who granted it in return for annual tribute of 10000 gold per annum.
The Prince latter led a victorious Triumph through Constantinople and Jerusalem, placing the Holy Cross on the summit of Jerusalem, the first time in a millennia. The Retaking of Jerusalem marked the first time in hundreds of years that the Byzantines had stepped foot again in Jerusalem, the Holy City. The Patriarch of Jerusalem welcomed the Prince with great Joy, and celebrations erupted across the Empire. In what gave the future Emperor Heraclius II the epithet of "Heraclius II the Just", the Prince, with the authority of the Emperor vested in him, granted the Muslims of the city pardon and amnesty, and full rights of citizenship. This event marked a new beginning for the Catholic-Islam relationship, though it did not mean that the Abassad Caliphate was about to stay silent forever.
Byzantium reasserts itself in the 18th and 19th CenturyEdit
Reasserting Byzantine Authority Edit
Long a power in politics on the continent, the Byzantine Empire was reasserting itself in the geopolitical dynamic, establishing key relationships with Russia and PeZookia. Shroomania was still regarded with suspicion. Confidence and Morale had risen ever since the defeat of the Abassad Caliphate and the recapture of Jerusalem. The regaining of strategic control of the Mediterranean strengthened the hand of Byzantine Emperors. The Abassads had more or less ceded control of the Mediterranean, having lagged behind in the technology race. It was around that time that some uses for petroleum was found and Byzantium made a treaty to extract oil in Arabia and in the lands beyond Syria.
When war between PeZookia and Shroomania erupted, the Byzantine Emperor Constantine XX looking wearily at the war and wondered the implications of a Shroomanian victory. Shroomanian encroachment of the north was not welcomed, much less a possible alliance between the Shadow Empire and Shroomania. To that end, secret messages were sent to PeZookia indicating that the Byzantine Empire would possibly intervene. In the mean time, arms would be supplied to the PeZookian Army.
What was clear was that PeZookia needed aid on the naval front and in that it was decided that Byzantium would either intervene, or force the Shroomanian King to come to the table for negotiation. A letter was sent to the Shroomanian king warning him that unless the king was willing to negotiate and cease his attacks on PeZookian soil, the Imperial Byzantine Navy would be forced to "defend the interests of the Empire". The IBN was smaller than the Shroomanian navy, but by no means was it without teeth. It had well trained battle-hardened crews and veteran admirals, and the Imperial Byzantine Marines and Army had already established a fierce reputation. The Emperor awaited the response of the Shroomanian king.
Meanwhile, the fleet set sail with a convoy of arms and supplies for PeZookia and troop ships bearing the Marines and Army. On the border with the Shadow Empire, vigilance was doubled to look out for any sign of stirrings in the Shadow Empire. The Emperor's diplomatic moves had some effect on Shroomania but the PeZookian King was determined to press his advantage, despite the urgings of the Emperor. In the end, both powers, after much bloodshed, agreed to a peace treaty.
Byzantium and the Industrial RevolutionEdit
The Emperor and the Church both backed the formation of universities and reformed the education system such that more young people could access what was regarded as formerly a privilege for the rich and wealthy. The Byzantine Empire greatly benefited from its pedigree origins; whereas the old Greeks would rather argue and argue over theories, the Italians would engineer and improve on Greek ideas.
The two centuries after the defeat of the Turks saw a revival of Byzantine Science in the great tradition of Hellenic Greece. The University of Constantinople and Athens again flourished with students and scholars engaging in scholarly debate. Much Progress in Mathematics and Physics was achieved, particularly when Newtonius devised the Principia which dealt with the laws of motion. The landmark papers made Byzantium the forefront of Science and progress. Newtonius and his Shroomanian counterpart Leibniz both independently devised Calculus, though the latter's easier to use notation won the day. Another great discovery was accorded to Maxwellikon and Faradyius. Both men were both venerated in the Academy of Science of Byzantium for having discovered and deciphered Electromagnetism, along with the formation of Maxwellian equations for Electromagnetism. Of course, competition between Shroomania and Byzantium was keen of course, but scientists on both sides agreed to keep politics out of the equation, and focus on Science. Joint conferences were organised where both sides met to discuss the latest developments.
In this way, Byzantium entered the Industrial Revolution fairly early, along with their Shrooomanian counterparts. Constantinople was long known for a manufacturer of textiles (like Silk) since the earliest days. The formation of the Steam engine set off a revolution in travel. Steel devised in PeZookia found its way back to Byzantium where ships were armoured with steel for better protection. Trade between the various nations flourished. Though there were of course rivalries, ultimately, the world was making great strides through the 19th century.
The Byzantine Explorer's GuildEdit
With Shroomania driving to build colonies to exploit local resources from the 18th century, the Byzantines were busy looking to the east. Of particular note was contact established with Cannissia and trade between the two nations thrived with ships regularly plying the trade routes. If there was a reason why Byzantium did not go actively acquiring colonies, was the lack of manpower; it was Byzantine policy not to ever overextend themselves unless there was a real need to. Overextension often led to problems in the future, so the ever cautious general would say.
Nevertheless, some of the retired former military men were interested in some adventured and came forward to form an Explorer's Guild. The Emperor, seeing an opportunity, granted them the rights to explore the world around and to seek out possible areas for colonisation. However after the debacle that was in San Dorado, albeit a happy one, the Guild's activities slowed considerably owing to the loss in manpower.
Byzantium and the First Great Continental WarEdit
The First Continental WarEdit
In the years that followed the Shroomanian and PeZookian war, peace more or less reigned between the 3 nations. Byzantium pursued a pragmatic policy, and made deals with the Arab Caliphate in the East to control some land in Arabia, drilling oil that would fuel the warships and cargo vessels of the Empire. Science and Engineering leaped forward.
Eventually, some time in the early 1900s, the IBNS Heraclius was constructed. The first Dreadnaught in the world, it was a triumph of Byzantine engineering and a product of many hundreds of years of ship designing experience. Exemplary efficiency, and firepower, the ship would be the new flagship of the fleet. The Empire collaborated with other nations such as Canissia, and produced some interesting weapons, such as tanks etc.
But the Empire was under no illusions that peace would be forever. To the East, the Abassad Caliphate suffered a civil war, and the Egyptian vassal broke away from the Caliphate and formed a rival empire. To the West, the Shadow Empire's antics worried the Emperors, and they warned the nation to be mindful of its actions. The Empire's armies massed on the Eastern and Western borders, with the Byzantine Eastern and Western fleets watching closely, ready to respond when required. The Byzantine Empire, Shroomania and PeZookia signed a mutual defence pact to strengthen their relations, while Shadow Empire signed a pact with the Abassad Caliphate, and the Egyptian Caliphate.
These did not go unnoticed. In response to the pact, the Byzantine Emperor reminded the Caliph of Damascus that he could march to Damascus within 1 day with a full army and obliterate the city should he dare to move to war. To the Egyptians, he threatened to send its fleet of dreadnaughts to shell the city of Alexandria. The Egyptians didn't regard the threat with too much gravity, much to the consternation of Byzantine diplomats. In fact, the diplomats even offered the Caliph of Damascus a chance to retake Egypt should they break with their alliance with Shadow Empire. To this offer, the Caliph said he would "consider it".
When the war between Shroomania and Pezookia, and Shadow Empire finally started, the Byzantine Military raised its alert level and sent out ships to escort convoy vessels. Taskforces of Battleships and Battlecruisers escorted by cruisers and frigates patrolled near the coast of Shadow Empire making sure none of the enemy's warships attacked the convoys. Khitanese warships in general tried to avoid combat, but when a small force of cruisers and destroyers attempted to attack a convoy, the escorting battleships and battlecruisers annihiliated the force through sheer weight of fire.
Attempts were made to coordinate the naval offensive together with Shroomania. However, the Shroomanian Admirals were too head strong and often regarded as too aggressive and lacking in caution. Likewise, their Shroomanian Admirals regarded their Byzantine counterparts as too cautious. Regardless, the Byzantine Admirals performed admirably defending home waters against any incursions, and were extensively involved in the beach landing near Oresta which saw the feared Byzantine Marines assaulting the flanks of the Shadow Army. They were also present in the battle that saw the back of the Shadow Navy broken. Though among themselves, they regarded Fleet Admiral Murderous von Schrom as way too aggressive and heedless of his men's lives, and resulted in too much needless causalties.
To that end, the Byzantine Military performed as well as it ought to, and were relentless in their persecution of the enemy. As for the Arab Caliphates, they held back their military out of fear of the superior Byzantine armies. However, Byzantium had to pay more than double for the rent of the land in Arabia. Active oil drilling was taking place in Arabia, and even the Arab Caliphates wanted to join in the operation. It was then a compromise that the 3 powers would jointly operate the oil fields and share the wealth, in exchange for a non-aggression treaty, and equal sharing of the profits.
Byzantium Between the WarsEdit
After the war, the economies of the continent were ruined. Byzantium bore the brunt of the ruin, given that it had to extend huge loans to other nations to aid in their rebuilding. The collapse of trade on the continent led Byzantium to look elsewhere for trade partners. Among the nations where trade treaties were signed were the Shinra Republic, Cannissia, and the Tian Xia Republic. Trade then blossomed again, along with close collaboration in research. Ties with Russia also improved and the two nations grew closer.
Ties with the Arab Caliphates were tricky however. On one hand, the Abassad Caliphate in Damascus became a bit more forward looking, but the Arab Caliphate in Alexandria grew more insular. Byzantium tried to main amicable relations with Alexandria, though at times, the rulers of Alexandria were erratic at best. Fortunately, the revenue from the oil fields of Arabia helped grease the ties between the Emperor and the Sultan of Alexandria.
It was during that era that a certain revolution in military thinking occurred in the world at large. The idea of mobile warfare was being resurrected with nations experimenting with tank technologies. To the Byzantine Generals, who for which the Marius Strategikon was a required reading, the idea of fast moving combined arms forces came natural to them. The issue was organisation and attempts were made to streamline the processes required to move armies quickly. These ideas and tactics of course, were shared with fellow nations as ties grew closer.
The Second Continental WarEdit
Byzantium and the Rise of ItlerEdit
Across the border where the Shadow Empire lay, ominous beginnings of a possible war were brewing. Itler was proclaimed chancellor of the Shadow Empire, and he proclaimed that all who were not of the Slavic race were considered heathens. Whereas Greeks he found to be someone amenable to persuasion, and thus he tried not to irritate the Byzantine Emperor too much, he clearly viewed PeZookia and Shroomania as scum of the Earth and thus he proclaimed a Crusade against the two countries, with the backing of the Orthodox Church of the Shadow Empire. This invited scorn from both the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, and the Red Patriarch who jointly condemned the Patriarch of the Shadow Empire, going as far as calling him a schismatic heretic and declaring him and his diocese anathema. The Emperor was similarly irritated to the point of death, and quite literally. His son, the young Soldier Emperor Konstantin XXIX ordered a mobilisation of the Military got ready for the inevitable war.
Byzantium enters the warEdit
The Soldier Emperor Konstantin XXIX was already marshaling the country for war for 6 years before the conflict erupted. Working together with Russia, the T-34 tank and other weapons was developed and deployed and readied for war. The Navy began a massive expansion program that saw the fleet double in size, with carriers and battleships the center pieces of the navy.
The conflict began with Itler proclaiming that the Muslims were heathens and desired to simply exterminate them from the face of the Earth 1 year after the war began with PeZookia and Shroomania. The Caliphates reacted with alarm and immediately began raising their armies and preparing for the eventual conflict. They sent pleas to Constantinople for military assistance against the Shadow Empire. The Emperor himself had cause to worry; the oil fields in Arabia were a jewel that was much sought for.
The Shadow Empire and their Allies soon readied a massive fleet of landing craft and warships and sailed for Alexandria, the first target of their Crusade. The Byzantine Navy was ready. Led by Admiral Agamemnon, a fleet consisting of 3 carriers of the Yorktown design (design obtained through the MESS alliance), 5 battleships, 7 battlecruisers and 14 heavy cruisers and several other destroyers and other escorts clashed with the Shadow Empire navy consisting of several pocket battleships, battleships, heavy cruisers and what not. They represented a good portion of the allied enemy fleet. The battle was fierce. It was that day that demonstrated the worth of the carrier as an offensive weapon. Aircraft from the 3 carriers, IBNS Constantine, Justinian and Heraclius bombed the enemy fleet with bombs and torpedoes and sunk many battleships. The Byzantine Navy might have been outnumbered, but the fight was going to be brutal. 2 Byzantine Battleships and 3 Battlecruisers were shelled to pieces by concentrated fire from the enemy navy, as the fight developed into a brawl with those ships surrounded by enemy cruisers and lost with all hands. 1 carrier was lost through enemy submarine torpedo attack, along with numerous other losses. Nevertheless, the enemy fleet suffered grevious losses, with all battleships and battlecruisers destroyed, and a number of other ships including heavy cruisers were destroyed and the enemy ships were driven off. Victory won at great cost.
However, the Shadow Empire landing craft made it to the shores and engaged in brutal urban warfare with the inhabitants of Alexandria. The Muslim battle cry "Allahu Ackbar" rang through the streets, even as the Shadow Empire infantry yelled "Christ has risen!" Blood flowed the streets as enemy artillery shelled the city and infantry engaged in skirmishes running throughout the city. Shadow infantry would remember the tenacity of the enemy well. The joke went that the Shadow Infantry would have won the living room, but still fighting in the kitchen. The slums throughout the city further bogged down the enemy. The enemy resorted to indiscriminate shelling, destroying much of the city.Then came the response from the Byzantine Army. Dubbed Operation Ouranos, General Belisamos led the Army at Jerusalem and had spent the last week or so marching for Alexandria under the cover of night, and struck the Shadow army and their allies on the outskirts of the city. In a brutal battle in the deserts that saw over a thousand tanks clashing head on, the battle lasted over a day. Shadow forces were routed, but the Byzantines bled a good portion of their military as the Shadow military proved dogged even in the face of defeat. PeZookian forces that served during Operation Ouranos served with great distinction, fighting along side fellow Byzantine forces. Tens of thousands died in that battle alone, with millions of civilian casualties, one of the bloodiest in the war.
General Assault on the Shadow EmpireEdit
With the destruction and routing of the Shadow army and navy at Alexandria, a massive bombing campaign was launched from Byzantium towards the Shadow Empire. Targeting enemy factories, strategic targets, the bombers came from various MESS nations and was the largest bombing offensive in history. On the high seas, a combined Byzantine and Cannissian fleet hunted down and destroyed the remaining Shadow fleet units before finally laying down a blockade on all Shadow Empire ports.
Meanwhile, talks with Red Technocracy about possible assistance against the Shadow Empire were underway. Whereas Red Technocracy diplomatic relations with the rest of the MESS was at best chilly, the General Secretary was swayed by the personal pleas of the Byzantine Emperor, who had traveled personally to the Red Technocracy capital. The two men were old friends, having served together in the Red Technocracy military as part of the age old liaison program between the two nations. Agreeing to commit his forces into the fight, the Red Army mobilised for war.
Dubbed Operation CuntPunch, a massive amphibious landing was planned on the shores of PeZookia facing Shroomania. Combined MESS and Shroomanian troops practiced together in one of the largest amphibious invasions in history. The landing was wildly successful, and a massive armoured fist fought its way through PeZookia, liberating one city after another. Red Army troops bashed its way through the border and stormed the capital, thus ending the war.