1636: The Saxon Uprising — Snippet 12

1636: The Saxon Uprising — Snippet 12

“I agree with Albert,” said Werner von Dalberg. “Lennart Torstensson is a Swede by birth, but when he accepted the position of commanding general of the USE army he swore an oath to uphold the USE’s constitution. An oath, I will add pointedly, that Axel Oxenstierna has never sworn. I don’t think Torstensson will betray that oath.”

Piazza shrugged. “Neither do I. So what, Werner? Torstensson has most of the USE’s army besieging the Poles in Poznań. He was ordered to do so, I remind you, by the duly elected prime minister of the United States of Europe, Wilhelm Wettin, who is Lennart’s own commander. Torstensson is not going to disobey that order.”

“And as the winter comes on, it would become harder and harder to disobey it anyway,” said Matthias Strigel. The Magdeburg governor had military experience. “Pulling out of siege lines in winter — certainly against an opponent as aggressive and capable as Grand Hetman Koniecpolski — would be dangerous.”

Piazza nodded and then went on. “As for Mike Stearns and the Third Division, Oxenstierna — officially, Wettin, of course — saw to it that he was as far away as possible in Bohemia. That leaves Wettin with only garrison units, logistics units and a small number of mostly specialized troops. Some of them are combat units, but most of them are things like radio operators.”

“There is also the navy and the air force,” pointed out Helene Gundelfinger. She was the vice-president of the State of Thuringia-Franconia.

Ed shrugged. “True, but those forces are the ones that matter the least in a conflict of this nature. Which is — let’s finally put the words on the table, shall we? — an outright civil war. There was a time when Wettin could have played an independent role in such a conflict, but that time is past. He has no ground troops worth talking about and Oxenstierna has the entire Swedish army.”

Ableidinger grunted. “What’s left of it. Koniecpolski hammered them pretty badly at Lake Bledno, from all accounts I’ve heard.”

“‘Hammered’ is not the right word. He bloodied them, yes. But it was the Poles who quit the field, not the Swedes. That army is still intact and functional and it outnumbers — it certainly outpowers — any other army which will become active in a civil war except the USE army itself. Which Oxenstierna, no fool, has dispersed and sent entirely out of the nation.”

There was silence for a moment. Then Strigel leaned back in his chair and said: “There is your own provincial force, Ed. The SoTF’s National Guard is probably the most powerful of the provincial armies.”

Piazza nodded. “Except for possibly Hesse-Kassel’s, in time past. But today, with Wilhelm V dead and many of his troops still with Oxenstierna in Berlin –”

“Not for long, I think,” said Liesel Hahn, an MP from Hesse-Kassel. She spoke diffidently, partly due to her own personality and partly to the fact that the FoJP was a slight political force in that province. “The landgravine is furious with Wettin and the chancellor. They won’t be able to stop her if she orders her soldiers home, which we think she will.”

“Why do you think that?” asked Charlotte Kienitz. “I would hardly think Amalie Elisabeth is now taking us into her confidence.”

“You might be surprised before much longer, Charlotte,” interjected Rebecca. “I’ve received no fewer than three letters from her over the past two weeks. None of them contain much substance, but the tone is quite friendly. I believe she is determined to keep as many of Hesse-Kassel’s bridges intact and unburned as possible.”

“Might I speak with you about those letters after the meeting, Rebecca?” asked Hahn. “That’s… quite an interesting development.”

“Yes, certainly.”

Charlotte shook her head, as if to shake off some confusion. “If you didn’t already know about the letters, Liesel, why did you think Hesse-Kassel’s widow would be recalling her troops?”

Hahn smiled. “I’ve met her several times, you know. She’s actually quite nice in personal encounters. But she’s still a Hochadel and has their innate attitudes. It barely registers on her that servants are within hearing range when she discusses her affairs with her counselors and advisers. Several of those servants report to the CoC regularly, and they pass the information on to us.”

Piazza had been listening to the exchange with keen interest. Now he spoke up again. “Even if Amalie Elisabeth brings all her troops back, I doubt very much she’ll be using them to intervene in any nation-wide civil war.”

“I deduce the same thing from her letters,” agreed Rebecca. “Not that she speaks of such matters directly, of course. Still, given her well-known attitudes in the past and her current friendliness toward to us — well, that’s a bit too strong; call it cordiality, rather — I think we can safely assume that Hesse-Kassel will keep to itself in the event a civil war breaks out.”

She looked at Hahn. “And so long as she does, Liesel, I would strongly advise our people there to keep the peace with her.”

Hahn nodded several times, very rapidly. That was not so much timidity on her part as a simple recognition of reality. The hold of Hesse-Kassel’s traditional rulers was still very strong, in part because they had been careful to make compromises and accommodations whenever necessary. You couldn’t call them “absolute monarchs,” since the Hesse-Kassel Estates maintained formal and legal — and especially financial — limits on the landgrave’s authority in the province. The Estates had deposed Wilhelm V’s father, in fact, because of his inveterate spendthrift habits. Still, the power of the landgraves was far greater than anything Americans thought of when they used the term “constitutional monarchy.” By that term, up-timers meant British practices of the late nineteenth or twentieth centuries, where Hesse-Kassel had a much greater resemblance to the Britain of the seventeenth century.

In practice, however, while he had been alive Wilhelm V had ruled with a light hand and there was every sign that his widow would continue the practice. Freedom of religion was tacitly accepted and, within limits, so was freedom of speech and freedom of the press. The freedom to assemble was even partially allowed. The landgravine would certainly suppress any large open demonstrations against her, but she made no attempt to prevent political groups and parties like the FoJP from holding regular and publicized meetings.

Of course, those freedoms were enshrined in the USE’s constitution, albeit with caveats. But the degree to which they were actually permitted in any given province was primarily determined by the balance of political power there.

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39 Responses to 1636: The Saxon Uprising — Snippet 12

  1. Phoboes says:

    Well Torstensson doesn’t have to push his siege of Poznan
    too hard. If he is smart enough to deduce that Axel is trying
    to bleed the USE army then he can just reach an accomodation
    with Koniecpolski so it ends up like the Amsterdam siege.

  2. dave o says:

    What comes next? Does the COC engage in heavy recruitment and training? Can they get Cardinal rifles or the German equivalent? That would give them an enormous tactical advantage over the Swedish troops. I think that German troops have more flintlocks than the Swedes, although that’s not entirely clear. They certainly have more capacity to produce arms.

    Contact Tortensson, and get him to plan a winter withdrawal? Moving infantry away from Poznan will be hard, but harder still for cavalry. Remember that Napoleon got some infantry out of Russia, but hardly any cavalry. Obviously Mike will be contacted, even though he’s already figured out what’s coming.

    Finally, what happens if G2A recovers just about the time everyone has chosen sides and the fights begin?

  3. Robert H. Woodman says:

    @1 – Dave O

    I think the CoC will engage in recruitment. Moreover, there are the guerilla forces from the Vogtland. Oxenstierna, of course, was clever enough to disperse the USE forces away from him during winter on the theory that they would not come back to attack him. He may find himself mistaken in that.

    If G2A recovers in time, I hope that Oxenstierna will end his days dangling from the end of a rope.

  4. ET1swaw says:

    @2 Oxenstierna hasn’t done anything actionable yet. His political manuevering at this point is not illegal, questionable but not illegal. If he attempts to form a government against an already sitting legislature, his hand is caught in the cookie jar. It’s still not treason, he’s not a USE citizen or a sworn USE government official. If he was trying this in Sweden or its Dominions, that would be different! If G2A comes out of his aphasia or he can’t get control of Kristina (chances are looking slim for him) or if PM Wettin breaks his puppet strings, Axel is cooked but not dead meat.
    Did von Thurn and his men go to Berlin or to Poznan with Tortensson? And the survivors of G2A’s column, same question?

  5. KimS says:

    The more each group, talks the more entrenched their thoughts they become. There are salient points that remain key.
    1. G2A had ordered troop dispositions prior to his injury. They are law! These favor Oxenstierna, not CoC supporters.
    2. Prime Minister Wettin has the lawful authority to order USE troops supporting G2A’s and Oxenstierna’s plans. These favor Oxenstierna, not CoC supporters. He is caught in political quicksand that is slowly robbing him of room to maneuver.
    3. Hesse-Kassel will withdraw their troops to bolster their territorial integrity. Not because of any direct threat but because the landgravine is aware of the political tides in play. This favors the landgravine alone and diminishes Oxenstierna. More of a positive benefit to CoC while not directly supporting it.
    4. National Guard units can be raised by those supportive of CoC views. They have uptime awareness of their usefulness. Even if the only weapons they have are older muskets, they will be a bigger threat than Oxenstierna realizes. Just recall the American Revolution and how the colonial militias fared against the British regulars. Uptimers understand guerilla, Mao Tse Tung and Sun Tzu, warfare and can teach the CoC. This favors the CoC and not Oxenstierna.
    5. C3I – Command, Control, Communication, and Intelligence! Uptimers and the CoC, more than Oxenstierna, understand and use radios to coordinate actions. No one does intelligence gathering like the CoC. They are the invisible furniture in the rooms. They hear, they see and they empty the trash, gleaning the documents. This favors the CoC and highly diminshes Oxenstierna.
    6. These conflicts will be more like skirmishes and in metropolitan areas. There will be minimal, if any usefulness, of Air Force or Naval units. No advantage to either side.
    Very Interesting!

  6. JuJo says:

    Mh Naval units. What about the Russian seaman in there Revolution they did count.

  7. Matthew says:

    Some people need to read their history of the Opium wars and see just how useful naval forces on rivers are in a war of this kind. The entire USE Navy is geared towards river protection and is invincible to the small caliber cannons that the swedes use with their armies.

  8. Robert Krawitz says:

    But isn’t the navy off in the Caribbean or something?

  9. Blackmoore says:

    @6 the Caribbean requires a blue water navy, where as the USE has (1634 BW) a fleet of one could guess at ten river boats (timberclads) and the couple of ironclad (one?) that was in functioning condition. That could be fantastic support on the Elbe. – but it isnt front line troops. the Coc is in a good position to get numbers, but getting improved weapons could be an issue.

    I’m suprised that Mike hasn’t sent a runner someplace to tell Becky where he has set up. even then this group wouldnt know unless they had used radio. and Mike appears to be in radio silence.

  10. Alejo says:

    an interesting but unlikely twist:

    Prior book had James Nichols state that patients with G2A’s condition can sometimes sing while they can’t speak. G2A is a musician. Be interesting if his recovery takes the shape of him half-singing what he is going to say. Can’t see Eric Flint doing this though. It would make the book pretty comical and almost ridiculous unless he does it just right. I don’t see how that can happen though since Caroline is with Kristina and they aren’t going to Berlin. Caroline might be able to hit upon a way to get through to G2A after all.

  11. Ed Schoenfeld says:

    The last 2 paragraphs foreshadow the Landgravine switching to support of the Magdeburg group in response to popular pressure (she allows plotical meetings, the meetings can influence the Hesse-Kassell estates, which can then ‘petition’ her to do something.)

    W. Wettin is looking more and more like a potential weak link in Oxenstierna’s arrangements. Either he changes his position on his own or he is removed from the PM office when the political balance shifts (vote of no confidence).

    While it’s very true the Ox has ths far not done anything that is clearly illegal, he may not truly be aware that the political ground can shift.

    Katrina arriving in Madgeburg may be what starts the avalanche, but the gritty action will be Hangman and the Saxon Rebels vs. Baner. What happens there will bring everyone to see they have to do instead of talk.

  12. Drak Bibliophile says:

    Ed, her troops may be needed elsewhere (I’m reading ahead to the next snippet). [Wink]

  13. Drak Bibliophile says:

    Phoboes, the question is “what does Koniecpolski have to gain by an end of the USE civil war verse what he has to gain by a continued USE civil war”.

    Remember, Torstensson can’t give him what he really wants, an end to invasions of Poland by GA.

    If Torstensson tries to withdraw back to the USE, it is in Poland’s best interests for him to have the hardest time possible in that withdraw.

    Any forces Torstensson loses in the withdraw are forces that can not be used to invade Poland again.

  14. Doug Lampert says:

    Also, there’s only so much food in any area. Amsterdam is one of the easiest spots in the world to supply, Poznań, not so much.

    At Amsterdam the Cardinal Infante had plenty of gunpowder and men, he COULD press the siege a lot harder than he was, so a mutual accomodation had things to offer both sides, what’s Torstensson got to offer Koniecpolski “If you let me forage peicefully I won’t waste my limited resources launching winter attacks on a fortress you want me to attack.” There’s simply no UP SIDE for Koniecpolski to not pressing.

    For instance, I seriously doubt that Koniecpolski plans to go to any trouble to ship food to his enemies, which means that the USE army MUST either send out foraging parties or quietly starve to death. The locals are unlikely to cooperate with the foragers, which means that the foragers will be robbing the locals (even if you give them srip or recipts, it’s still robbery if you don’t offer them any choice about taking it). Koniecpolski has absolutely no reason NOT to use his cavalary superiority to cut its foraging parties to pieces at every opportunity.

  15. Todd Bloss says:

    Whichever road Eric takes to get it there, this “crisis” -it may not yet turn into a full Civil War, is going to propel the USE into full autonomy. The people, along with the CoC, won’t allow the risk of this happening again.
    If the Old World thought the existance of the USE unsettling, wait until they realize an independant, united Germany, has suddenly seemed to have sprung whole within thier midst; 300 years ahead of schedule.

    Ox is making a mistake that GA2 was astute enough to avoid.
    The USE is not just another Swedish dominion, to be carved up at will. Any attempt to do so would not only fail, but could put Sweden itself in jeapardy.

  16. robert says:

    Did I misread the title of this book? Here I was thinking that Dresden/Saxony was the key to all this. I am sure that Baner will do the wrong thing and start by trying to kill off the rebels and the CoC people. I was expecting Mike to swoop (march?) in and give Baner a fatal drubbing. Instead, here is a revolutionary council meeting to plan a civil war. Or is it a coup?

    Gustav is not dead, so he must recover, or what would be the sense of Eric keeping him alive. It will have to be in time to save the situation from total collapse. The question is what will he do to Ox when he recovers? He still has Swedish politics to contend with, remember. He doesn’t even know that his Queen is dead. He will need Ox to deal with all that because Kristina is too young and is very popular in the USE. So she will stay on the south side of the Baltic for now.

  17. Malcolm McLean says:

    @10, this recalls David Brin’s 2nd Uplift trilogy, where Emerson D’Anite has a brain injury that leaves him unable to speak, but eventually he discovers he can still sing; in his case Gilbert & Sullivan got his meaning across… what would G2A be singing?

  18. Robert H. Woodman says:

    @16 – Robert.

    I don’t think this is a coup. Or, at least, the coup is on Oxenstierna’s part, not on the part of the FoJP and the Ram Party.

    In RL, some people who have been injured as badly as G2A never recover. While it might be awkward for Eric to write, he could keep G2A comatose forever.

    I expect, though, that G2A will recover. If he does, I think that the best that Axel Oxenstierna can hope for is that he is merely put out of power. G2A was given to rage at times before he got drubbed in the head, and according to Dr. Nichols, uncontrollable rage is a potential, long-lasting side effect of G2A’s head injury. If G2A learns of Ox’s manipulation and, for lack of a better word, betrayal (I believe that Ox has betrayed G2A, even if what he has done is not technically treason) while he is in one of his rages, Ox could find himself very, very dead.

    I hope this is not a spoiler, but G2A learned of the Queen’s death by radio prior to the battle that left him comatose.

    I think that once Kristina comes to Magdeburg (assuming she is not diverted by Ox using military force), she will stay in the USE. That will ultimately marginalize Sweden. All of Ox’s manipulations, then, will be for naught, because Sweden will be less of a power than before he started, and the USE will be, or will quickly become, the 1200-pound gorilla in the middle of Europe’s living room.

  19. Drak Bibliophile says:

    Robert, GA knows his wife was murdered.

    As for the situation in the snippet, they don’t know that all the action will be in Saxony.

    They have to plan on action being taken against them.

  20. dave o says:

    #4 et al. Before you can say Ox is not guilty of treason, you have to know under what laws he would be tried. The SoF seems to be following modern American common law. I have no idea what the USE law is, but I guess some version of Roman law. Sweden and Denmark, some other versions of Roman law. And you have to assume that the King, or the Princess, or her regent can’t influence the judges. And you have to assume that whoever simply doesn’t use a bill of attainder, or something like it. That is how parliament convicted Strafford. In the end, whoever is in control can call him a traitor, get a court to agree, if he/she thinks it necessary and cut off his head or hang him, whichever is customary. Evidence has very little to do with it.

  21. Hank says:

    re: Baner. I’m re-reading The Bavarian Crisis and I’d like to point out that we’ve all, AFAIK, been focusing on only one aspect of Baner’s persona, his hate for the CoC’s and ignoring another facet preented there. No, not the profanity. Baner hates most Noblemen, even though he is one. Especially uppity German ones.
    TBC, pg 60. “I think that the ‘the ruling high nobility’ of these crappy bits of the Palatinate would be a lot improved if someone did to them what the kings of Sweeden did to their own nobility two generations ago. Namely, chop off thier shitting heads. And keep chopping until the ones left alive became useful servants of the crown…”
    Baner will almost certainly foul things up and be the cause of the titular uprising (I can imagine a few alternate scnarios there) but may not be the tool Ox expects. In fact, he might think Ox should be shortened for doing something other than what the King would want.
    Interesting times ahead
    btw, consider that an “uprising” does not have to be an armed revolt.

  22. dave o says:

    #13 &14 On the other hand, if Torstensson withdraws from Poland, Koniecpolski will have to follow with a cavalry heavy army, and no grazing for the horses. If he doesn’t catch T quickly, that means unnumbered forage wagons over Polish roads. If he has the wagons. If he has the forage. I’m no expert on the subject, but I suspect he won’t be able to move any faster than T, and thus will never catch him. Tatars and maybe Cossacks can campaign in the Winter, but Polish cavalry is a lot heavier. Additonally, the USE advantage in artillery will mean a lot more with the ground frozen.

  23. Jesse says:

    I think were going to see a huge change in the dynamics of the USE and all of Gustavs other territories, Not to mention Europe as a whole. This is what I thinks going to happen NOT just in this book but also in the next few years. Oxenstierna will cause a civil war, one I’m sure he thinks will go his way, the CoC and Mike will think differently. The Turks will invade and conquer the Austrian Empire. Bernard will try and invade Germany but get blocke by Hanse-Kessel. Wallenstien will be forced to occupy Bavaria and parts of Austria to hold back the Turks. And Mike will finally cut loose. When the dust settles The USE will have been turned on its head with all the noble desenters crushed. Mike as Katrina’s regent will forge Sweeden the USE and Denmark into a truly unified whole just intime for them to marshal there forces and begin the process of driving back the Turks. Which is when Gustav will wake up, although still be partially incapacitated, but functional enough to act on his daughters regency council….Which will leave Mike to go off and crush the Turks. Somewhere along the way to driving the Turks all the way back to Constanople Wallenstein and Mike will come to an agreement that will incorporate Boheimia and all the recent territorial aquasitions into the USE. I’m sure France and Spain will try and get their hands into the mix. But I can see the Dutch blocking any French interest plus carrying the conflict on a global scale W/E indies, New Amsterdam(New York)against The French’s newly aquired colonies of New England and Virgina. While Spain trys and succedes in taking a bunch of Italy(including Rome). Which drives the rest including Venice to join withe the USE. The Pope will flee to the USE, eventually with the aide of the CoC help cause a public uprising in Italy which will see the whole of Italy join into the USE. England will have its civil war early with Cromwell victorius, but mostly be stuck on internal matters untill at least the 1650s. I figure all this insanity to take us upto 1645/50ish time frame. By the Time Katrina is ready to become Empress she will have the largest, most industrialized, best educated, most unified, and richest realm in the World. She will Have an Ally in the Dutch and a newly Democratic England. Her Empire will be bordered by a Fanatical Turkish Empire bent on Revenge, A newly invigorated Polish commonwealth ill at ease with the USEs size, wealth and power. A France led by Louis the XIV that has become “the” colonial world power(also ill at ease with the USE), And Spain greatly reduced in territory and glory, but still with its wealthy Central/South America colonies bent on recovering Not Only Italy but the Whole of the Holy Roman Empire. Then the story can start foccusing on colonial issues as well as lead up to a real World War(defined as a Total war where a nation’s entire being is devoted to the destruction of there enemy). So sayeth I from my mountain top!!!!!!!

  24. Doug Lampert says:

    If Torstensson withdraws then Koniecpolski is unlikely to push hard, but so what? Torstensson has LEGAL ORDERS to stay where he is. He’s not withdrawing, there’s no reason for him to withdraw, and any withdraw would be in violation of ALL his orders and oaths.

    He’s going to maintain the siege for quite a while to come, and Koniecpolski has ZERO reason to reach any accomidation with him while he’s doing that, and for that matter while he’s doing that any accomodation on his part is treasonous.

    Torstensson has no choice but to keep the USE army where it is and watch it start to melt away as his supplies fail in winter. Koniecpolski is in a good position to take advantage of this and help the USE army die, and that’s what he’s almost sure to do.

  25. Beata says:

    @22 Some major battles in winter:
    1 Kumejki 16 December 1637 – PLC vs Zaphorosian Cossack;
    2 Ochmatow 30 January 1644 – PLC vs Tatars;
    3 Krasne 22 February 1651 – PLC vs Zaphorosian Cossack;
    4 Ochmatow 29 January – 1 February 1655 – PLC + Tatars vs Zaphorosian Cossack + Muscowy

    I don’t think Koniecpolski will conduct calavary together with wagons. Torstensson has only 1 and 2 USE Infantry Division and very few calvary (if some reiters will survive forage tasks).

    We’ll see… (or better we’ll read).

  26. te says:

    nice time to remember the naval guns certain USE units are blundering around south-central Germany with. after the freeze/snowfall, on sleigh they might be handy to help end the seige, but certainly would be a target for cavalry. Just a thought, they would make ideal seige guns.

  27. ET1swaw says:

    Tortensson has legal orders issued by PM Wettin reinforcing G2A’s plans prior to his injury. Oxenstierna controls or assumes he controls Pomerania, Brandenburg, and Swedish Prussia leaving only Saxony as a path to reinforce/supply Tortensson and his men. PLC has radios and a captured APC with homegrown mechanics/engineers that might develop their own possibly improved version (remember French Cardinal rifles and Russian AK3s). 1st and 2nd USE Armies look to be in for a hard time. That wastage of his troops more than anything is what will fry Axel with G2A if/when he recovers from aphasia.
    If von Thurn and his troops along with G2A’s survivors are with Tortensson, wasting G2A’s limited number of Swedish troops will be even more of a crime in G2A’s eyes. If they are in Berlin/Brandenburg it is a major red flag for the survivability of Tortensson’s troops.
    According to ‘Eastern Front’ no Riksdag has been called appointing Axel as lone Regent. As Chancellor he is one of five great officers of the Swedish Realm (and ranked number four). OTL two of the other four posts were held by his relatives, but I highly doubt those appointments went that way NTL. Jacob de la Gardie as Lord High Constable (land forces) and Karl Gyllenhielm as Lord High Admiral are already canon for the series. So Axel’s support back in Sweden isn’t monolithic, the Brahes and other families still remain as political opponents.
    Koniecpolski and Poznan IMO are about to become a side issue. The titular revolution/civil war seems more center stage including the political manuevering involved.

  28. Drak Bibliophile says:

    Jesse, Eric Flint doesn’t like Empires so he has “decreed” that the USE will never be an Empire. [Wink]

    By the way, one of the reasons that he dislikes Empires is that an Empire can “control” technological growth and (like Imperial China) begin to stagnate.

  29. dave o says:

    #27 Poland has no developed oil fields. Even if they can construct a fleet of APC’s in the next year, (hard to believe), where will they get fuel to run them? As for Tortensson’s orders, well legality is probably a lot less important to him than survival. I do agree that Ox will probably face opposition from other noble factions. Standard operating procedures for nobility in the 17th century.

    #24 Tortensson knows he doesn’t have the troops to take Pozen. He also knows that feeding his army near Pozan is close to impossible. Don’t you think that’s enough reason to do whatever it takes to survive? My read is that he’s way too smart to commit suicide. Besides which, respect for legality was not a leading characteristic of the 17th century.

  30. Hank says:

    @29 coal-fired steam powered APCs? How to do suspension & drive train may be the main things they learn from the captured one. Not to mention the opportunity to determine their weaknesses thru study.
    Remember, the USE “APCs” are really just converted coal trucks, only good because there isn’t anything up to taking them out around. Wouldn’t take that much of an anti-tank gun to do the job. Heck, stout enough caltrops would put them out of commission!

  31. Willem Meijer says:

    @29 and 30 Be green, think bio-diesel. I’ve seen pre-war (WWII) leaflets of firms who advertised simple diesel-engines for use in the tropics that could run on cocoanut-oil or other vegetable oils.

  32. Nico de Lange (jabulani) says:

    Hey Drak, it seems that we’re back to the old discussion again, re. empires. What do you call the U.S. then? LOL

  33. dave o says:

    #30 & #31 Both are possibilities. But neither can be constructed within the next year or so. BTW early tanks got so hot that the crews couldn’t work in them very long. I’d imagine that a steam powered tank would be a lot worse.

  34. Todd Bloss says:

    The war with Poland is screwing everything up.
    Remind me exactly why we’re at war with them again?
    The simple answer seems to be -because the Emperor wanted to and now, becaus of classic monarchial issues, it’s being used as a way to undermine the USE.

    This will be the main argument for removing a lot of Executive Powers from the Emperor -if the USE keeps the Monarchy at all.

  35. Robert H. Woodman says:

    @34 — Todd Bloss

    Your point is well taken, but remember that Kristina is quite popular with the people of the USE. She’s also very smart, and she has good advisors in Caroline and Ulrik, who is also her betrothed. She’s headed to Magdeburg to raise a rebellion to Axel Oxenstierna. This will likely increase her popularity with the people. If the USE decides to keep the monarchy, and if G2A does not recover mental competency, then the USE might still keep the monarchy, and they might still allow the monarchy substantial power because of Kristina. On the other hand, if G2A regains mental competency, he might well find his popularity diminished and his executive powers greatly diminished. I think the USE might well force him to give up his rule over individual provinces by telling him “You can rule a province or state or you can rule the nation, but you cannot rule both.”

  36. Ken says:

    You all are forgetting about Hand from a prior snippet! He will have a say representing G2A in some form or fashion in the upcoming ‘civil’ showdown.

  37. Ed Schoenfeld says:

    Eric has a real choice about GA2s recovery. If GA2 remains incapacitated, and (as we seem to expect) the Magdeburg faction wins with Katrina + Ulrik helping, what comes out of the mess could look a lot like 19C Britain, maybe with the monarchy and lords/senate a *little* bit stronger. Katrina will make a fine Queen Victoria type — long reign, stable government with Katrina and Ulrik needing to sell general policies to party heads if not voters, and general military superiority by the part of Europe that really adopts uptime ways of thinking (instead of just the technological tricks). That way includes a real chance for the FoJ types to work out amongst themselves what democracy in the NTL will look like.

    But it’s not something an active GA2 would ever put up with. If GA2 recovers any real capacity, the result will be something very different, with a much stronger monarch who is a real national executive. In part, its only the absence of GA2 that allows the democratic movements to progress, had he never been incapacitated everyone would still be thinking Monarch+Estates, instead of ‘National Assembly + Something.’

    Knowing the way Eric writes, I’m sure the ‘something’ will be interesting.

  38. baldbastard2 says:

    Mike stearns may not have known the specifics, but he for certain sure set the general theme up when he deliberately timed the elections so he would lose. Remember he said in the Dreeson incedent something like he expected Wettin and Company to screw up by the numbers. I don’t know anaything for sure, however I would not be surprised to find him pulling the political and/or military equivalent of the Saints surprise onside kick at the beginning of the second half of the last superbowl out of his ass, so to speak. Remeber folks, he has been setting up this general situation for a while now. F***ing BRILLIANT!!!

  39. Brian says:

    What if Torstensson divines what Oxenstierna is planning, reaches an accord with Koniecpolski,and returns with Polish troops in tow to head Oxen off? That would be most interesting.

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