Swedish Civil War (1626-1636)

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1625-1626 T149
Kingdom of Sweden (Gustaffson): However, things soon turned sour for the King, for he caught some southern fever and died of it, retching and gasping, in his tents at Astrakhan. This was a sore blow to the Royal Family, for this son, Sven, was but four. Yet this was not all... on but the day before the arrival of the messenger from the south bearing this message, the Altkansler binKotov had been gunned down on a Stockholm street as he was leaving a dinner at a hotel. The gunman, a swarthy Turk, was then cut down by the 'kanlsers bodyguards. All Stocklhom was stunned by this brutal series of events...

But the end of the dark tunnel was still far off. In the next days, while the Royal Family crowded to the Solna to grieve for the dead Sven the Elder, men in black, with professional ease, slipped into the camp of the army at Astrakhan and kidnapped the young Sven VII. Rumors of an army mutiny circulated.

These rumors blossomed into truth with the coming of spring in 1526, for the kidnappers of the young King revealed themselves - a coterie of dsimissed army officers and slighted nobles. Jealous of the growing power of the Senate and angry with the royal family for allowing the erosion of noble privledge and right, the conspirators (under the leadership of the Hohenstaufen family) converged upon Stockholm in an effort to seize the capital and install the young Sven VII as their puppet.

Meantime, in the far south, the generals commanding the Army of Russia fell to quarreling amongst themselves over what to do and Vasa and Stragerd marched north with the main body of the Army. Duke Leczinski of Silesia, who had departed the others with heated words, took his knights and hared off across the Ukraine for unknown parts.

The putsch in Stockholm, to the delight of the Hohenstaufen, swept away the demoralized city milita and they crowned Sven at musket-point in the Great Cathedral. Ladislas Hohenstaufen was declared the Regent and his first orders were to disband the Senate. Senators scattered for the hills and Novgorod, where many of the Royal Family had fled for safety. The Empire held its breath.

Vasa and Stragerd reached Muscovy, where the army of the Altsmarsk Oxenstierna awaited them with foreboding. The generals huddled upon their arrival at Moscow, and issued a statement repudiating the "puppet-king" in Stockholm. However, emissaries from the Senate (in exile in Novgorod) were also refused and it became clear that the generals were on the edge of proclaiming their own bid for rule.

The Senate did not stand helpless, however, for certain "agencies" remained loyal to them and the Hoehnstaufen (celebrating their victory in the chambers of the Solna) meta messy end as a Vikon assassination team made a substantial "hit". Street fighting broke out in the capital and by the end of May, 1526, the city was back in the hands of the Senate. Young King Sven, however, had stopped a pistol-ball during the fighting at the palace and expired in the arms of two Vikon medics trying to staunch his wounds.

Stragerd, Vasa and Oxenstierna, however, had realised that they held the balance of the Empire in their hands and declared their support for Prince Ivar Romanov; a cousin of the dead Sven, and a prominent Russian member of the Royal Family. The Senate, however, refused to go along with this and proclaimed the Queen Mother regent for the very, very young Prince Charles. Queen Inga followed this with the declaration of a state of Emergency and suspended the powers of the Senate (promising to restore them later).

Thus was the great realm of Sweden split in fire and blood, civil war and the hatred of peoples dividing the shining kingdom in twain...

Kingdom of Sweden (Romanovs): The rebellious Romanovs managed to garner the support of the provincal boyars of Smolensk, Kirivitch, Rzhev, Kalinin, Tver, Yaroslav, Kostroma, Muscovy, Suzdal, Murom, Kirov, Suvar, Volga Bulgar and Pelym. The province of Polotsk, which otherwise would have gone to the Generals, was held by the Senate-loyalist Duke Leczinski of Silesia.

Other ripples and cracks echoed through the splintered and crumbling halls of Sweden; Agder revolted, and Galacia in Spain, the peasants of Novgorod rose up in abortive revolt, but were crushing by Senatorial troops there.Vologda, of course, was but waiting for such a chance...

Danish Empire: Richard laughed a little, behind his hand, at the great discomfiture of the Northern Enemy.

1627-1628 T150
Kingdom of Sweden (Romanovs): A moderate truce was agreed to between the Generals and the Queen. Rzhev, Kalinin and Yaroslav were released from Romanov control. Desiring to fuel Ivar's dreams of a Pan-Slavic empire to beggar that of the ancient Czars, Gustavson and Oxenstierna launched a two pronged campaign into the Ukrainian heartland.

Oxenstierna led 75,000 men due south into the forests of Seversk, his goal, the Ukrainian capital at Rostov. At the same time Gustavson and Stragerd (all three now Grand-Dukes) punched into Urkel, intending to clean house in the east.

Oxenstierna's advance was initially unopposed by the Ukrainians, but Gustavson and his force of 25,000 ran smack dab into 50,000 Ukrainians marching through Urkel. Gustavson backpedalled as fast as he could, but the Ukrainains still brought him to pay at the village of Yershov. The Romanovs, outnumbered (and more importantly, outgunned) were smashed and Grand-Duke Stragerd killed. Gustavson packed it back north into Suvar to regroup.

The Ukrainians then put thier backs to it and slogged west to the wintery steppes of Cuman where they dug in to await the Romanov army that had crashed through Seversk and into that very same province! Oxenstierna came on, dodging club-wielding assassins, exploding baby carriages and the odd thrown rock. A sharp battle ensued at the crucial post-house and waystation of Ol'khatovska and the 44,000 Ukrainians put up an unexpectedly fierce resistance. Oxenstierna badly bungled the opening moves of the battle, but the superior firepower, quality and sheer doggedness of his troops pulled his ass out of the fire. The Ukrainian Kutuzov barely managed to salvage 7,000 men out of the fracas at the end of the day as tides of Swedish troopers poured through his collapsing and battle-weary lines. Kutuzov fell back to Rostov.

The Swedes followed, besieging the city in the early fall of 1628. The city resisted fiercely, reinforced by sailors from the fleet and a great store of captured Swedish siege equipment taken at Yershov. Despite this, however, the Urkrainians were woefully unskilled at modern siege tactics and the well-trained Swedes stomped them and their city flat as a bug. Tsar Galen took off as many townsfolk as he could in the fleet before retiring to Stevastopol to consider how best to drive these big-nosed invaders from his lands.

Kingdom of Sweden (Gustaffson): The remains of the Senate and the Queen huddled in Stockholm and roughed out a new power-sharing arrangement. Some Senators and members of the rightist nobility were sent on long vacations and things were returned to normal in the capital. Admiral Heyerdahl returned with the fleet and a bitchin' tan.

The Margrave of Bialoweza led a force of 10,000 hussars across the frontier into Romanovan territory, seizing the province of Kirivitch. As the Romanov army was away south, they could do nothing but curse.

1629-1630 T151

1631-1632 T152

1633-1634 T153
Kingdom of Sweden (Romanovs): The Romanovs, now severely overextended, fell back to their center at Moscow, laying waste to Masuria, Kur, Lithuania and Polotsk as they retreated. Grodno, Bauhaus and Kaunas were destroyed in fire and rapine by the Romanov army. Wulf declared that Moscow was now "festung moskova" and would never surrender in a thousand years of battle!

Generals Oxenstierna and Gustavson (yes, relations of their enemies) fell back to Moscow in good order, their troops in strong discipline. However, soon after their arrival in the festung, a roofing tile ended Gustavson's brilliant military career. Oxenstierna became commander in chief and began preparing to defend the realm against attack from all sides.

Kingdom of Sweden (Gustaffson): Udyana rewarded those loyal to her, granting the Duke of SIlesia the province of Little Poland as part and parcel of his fief. She also re-announced a policy of providing deserters from the various factions in the African War with bed, board and a new life, far from the Aztec Empire!

On the Russian front, General Polanskaya gathered an army in Rhzev (including 6,000 Rzhevi levies) and struck south into Tver, intending to disrupt the rear area communications of the Romanovs. Tver fell, and Rybinsk was besieged by Polanskaya's 18,000 man corps. At the same time, Pappenheim and the Silesians advanced out of the west, converging slong a northern and western axis on Polotsk. The provinces of Masuria, Lithuania, Kur and Polotsk were all retaken (in their much saddened state) by the two generals. Messengers from the north indicated that the probe by Polanskaya had been intercepted by the Romanovs, so the two decided to cross the Dvina and so came to Nova Byzantium with 25,000 horse.

Oxenstierna responded to the attack on Rybinsk by marching his army north and bringing Polanskaya to bay at the village of Likhoslavl. The 35,000 Romanovs made short work of the Gustavist corps, and marched back to Moscow with heads on pikes and a song in their hearts. Polanskaya survived the battle (though he was relieved of command afterwards and disgraced). The Prince of Rhzev was killed along with all of his men, charging the Romanov batteries.

The advance of the Gustavist horse, meanwhile, had not gone unnoticed by Wulf and his advisors, and Oxenstierna then marched west to deal with these new invaders. Pappenheim and the Silesians had intended to fall back in front of the Romanov advance, but things got snarled on the Warsaw Road and Oxenstierna caught them at the Dvina bridges. Again, though Pappenheim and Leczinski of Silesia escaped the debacle, their army did not, dying in droves on the battlefield before the bridges and in the water.

In Moscow, when Wulf heard this news, he laughed so hard he choked on a kipper and died. Oxenstierna then declared himself regent for the Prince Guntar, but that lad had not been seen in many months...

In Stockholm, the news had a similar effect, in that it came soon after the death of Queen Udyana in childbirth (what, no husband? Hmn....), leaving her son, Charles as king. Udyana's brother-in-law, Ivar, became head of the ensuing regency and he vowed to reclaim ALL of the lost Russian provinces.

1635-1636 T154
Turkic Kingdom of the Ukraine: Extensive plans with the Gustavsons were somewhat derailed by the Avar theft of the weighty bags of gold that had been intended for Galen's coffers. The Volga Canal, as well as the river, was closed to Avar trade; which also shut down traffic with Occitania and Lybia. Galen was somewhat cheered to see that the Danes were on the outs with the Avars as well. On the other hand, secret negotiations with the "Ox of Muscovy", neƩ General Oxenstierna of the Romanovs bore fruit with the alliance of the two realms!

Oxenstierna was declared the Grand Duke of Suvar, a province being overrun by the Avars at the time, and Romanov refugees were welcomed in Ukrainian territory. A general exodus began from Moscow. Various Ukrainian armies (mostly mercenary contigents) entered the Romanov territories with an eye to minding the store. Sir Percy Shelly took control of the defence of the northern frontier, occupying Kalinin-city in Kirivitch.

The Ghuzz khan marched into a demoralized Moscow, now abandoned by Oxenstierna and his army, and imposed a harsh rule. The Kazan, who had been encamped in the far north, swept south along the valley of the Volga and 'liberated' Volga Bulgar from the Avars and then Suvar as well.

The Avar relief army that arrived at the end of 1636 retook Volga Bulgar (again) but had no time to capture Suvar as well. Meantime the Ukrainans had sort of swirled around the Avar advance, avoiding it with their more mobile cavalry columns. Timur found himself encamped in the dank forests of Pereaslavl with his rear communication lines slashed by peasant revolt in Cuman and Ukrainian cossacks in Mordva and Suvar. "No matter," he muttered, "they may be able to play defence, but they still can't shoot..."

Kingdom of Sweden (Romanovs): With the 'defection' of Oxenstierna to the Ukrainians, the provinces of Tver, Kalinin and Kostroma abandoned everyone and formed their own principalities. The unfortunate death of Guntar Romanov due to water-inhalation while swimming in a Venetian canal put the last spike through the heart of the Romanov cause...

Kingdom of Sweden (Gustaffson): Prince Ivar, the Regent, read with a little thin smile of the discovery of the Romanov princeling in a Venetian sewer, suffering from water on the brain and in the lungs. That problem, he mused, was settled, now there were all these other ones... He turned back to the paperwork piled on his desk. Soon after this the Swedish government issued a series of statements expressing extreme displeasure with the defacement of the Ka'bah and with the Islamic reaction as well.

Troops trickled into Polotsk from the west as various commands gathered to watch the Ukrainians swallow the Romanov possessions across the river.

1635-1636 T155
Kingdom of Sweden: In distant Tavda, far, now, from the Swedish frontier, the crude and cruel chiefs of that rugged and inhospitable land made rude jokes at the expense of the Queen Mother. Secure in the impregnable fortress of the White Hart, the Tavdan king makes rude motions, explaining his latest jest to his even more lacivious fellows. Only with the coming of the pale northern dawn and the rousing of the fortress to the cock-crow does the strumpet that has warmed the chieftain's bed rise to find, in screaming horror, that the jester lies dead, his eyes gouged out while she has slept at his side. A fondue fork impales his long and distended tongue to his forehead. Thus is a harsh warning given to the enemies of the Swedish state.

The young Charles was at last crowned King of Sweden and took the throne of his ancestors with all due state and pomp. The embassies of all the European powers attended, even some that had but recently entered the world stage. The serious young King then took over the direct reigns of the government and soon surprised his advisors and minsters with his aptitude for the toils of state. In the field, his minions were feverishly busy, eager to reclaim the lost glories of Sweden of old. In many places they were well met, but not in Russia itself, where the ancient hate of the Russ for the Varangian overlord still runs deep as the sea and as black as pitch. Charles also recieved an embassy from the court of the diSfortza king of England and granted him some measures of aid. In return, English flax and wheat found good markets in Sweden.

In Polotsk the young Veldmarsk, Raj Whitehall, arrived to command the Army of Russia, at last gathering to some strength after the severe thrashings the previous armies had suffered at the hands of the Romanovs and others. The Veldmarsk faced a formidable task; his enemies were many, he had been promoted over the heads of many elder generals (particularly the Molotov scion, Holvart) and his command style was somewhat... unique. Still the young King held him in high esteem and for the nonce, that was all that mattered.

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