1636: The Saxon Uprising — Snippet 14

1636: The Saxon Uprising — Snippet 14

Chapter 5

“Here’s the way it stands, as best as I can figure.” Ed rose from his chair and went over to the wall of the room facing the windows. Where portraits would normally be placed on such a wall in most townhouses of this size, hung instead a very large map of the United States of Europe.

There was a wand hanging from a hook next to the map. Ed picked it up and began pointing with it.

“As I said earlier, we have to assume that the SoTF and the Oberpfalz will be pre-occupied with Bavaria.” He swung the tip of the wand northwest to indicate Hesse-Kassel. “And we figure that, for her own reasons, Amalie Elisabeth will keep her province neutral. That brings us to the heart of the opposition’s strength, which today is in Brandenburg.”

The wand now pointed to the northeastern province’s capital, Berlin. “Oxenstierna has somewhere in the vicinity of twenty thousand Swedish troops here, just about as many men as Torstensson has in his two USE divisions facing Koniecpolski at Poznań. Those are professional soldiers, skilled and experienced, and will do whatever Chancellor Oxenstierna tells them to do.”

He swept the wand back and forth across the entire country. “Some provinces with strong and moderate rulers like Hesse-Kassel and Brunswick will try to keep their reactionaries under control. Westphalia too, for somewhat different reasons. But even they won’t succeed entirely. In provinces under direct Swedish control like Pomerania, the Main and the Upper Rhine, they won’t try at all. In fact, you can be sure and certain that Oxenstierna will be doing all he can to whip them up, especially the Mecklenburg noblemen in exile.”

“You’re still talking in terms of paramilitary units, though, aren’t you?” asked Anselm Keller. “Not much different, really, from the sort of forces the CoCs can put in the field.”

“Yes… and no. I agree with Becky that the CoCs are overconfident because of their success with Krystalnacht. But there they were fighting only the most extreme anti-Semitic reactionaries. They made it a point not to attack — and the favor was returned in kind — what you might call the more standard sort of reactionaries. Local noblemen, town patricians, guild masters, the like. That meant that they didn’t often come up against regular militias with experienced and seasoned leadership. When they do — which they most certainly will in the event of a full civil war — they’re going to discover things are a lot tougher for them.”

He paused for a moment, studying the map. “Still, if the war was simply fought between the CoCs and the sort of forces that provincial and local reactionaries could put in the field, I’d bet on the CoCs. Hands down, in fact. The CoCs possess a truly national organization with a national program, where the reactionaries are a sack of potatoes. A collection of inveterate squabblers with a thousand petty privileges to defend and twice that number of petty grievances to avenge. If the CoCs in one province get into trouble, CoC columns from elsewhere will come to their aid — as they did in Mecklenburg during Krystalnacht. Rarely will you see provincial reactionaries behaving likewise. There’s simply no comparison in terms of leadership, especially on the national level. On the one side, you have people like Gretchen Richter, Spartacus, Achterhof. And on the other?”

He shrugged. “It’s hard to even come up with names. Oxenstierna is a titan surrounded by toads. No, the real danger lies elsewhere. With regular armies, not irregular forces.”

Pizza moved the tip of the wand all the way across the nation to point to the southernmost province of Swabia. “There are three other large Swedish armies in the USE. The first is here in Swabia, under General Horn.”

Bugenhagen started to object but Piazza waved him down with the hand not holding the wand. “Please, Albert. Yes, I know Horn’s forces are legally part of the USE army, not the Swedish. But it’s the very definition of a civil war that the rule of law shatters. In practice, Horn’s soldiers are mercenaries, not the sort of often-CoC-inspired volunteers that fill the ranks of Torstensson’s three divisions. They will do whatever Gustav Horn tells them to do, have no doubt about it.”

“And what do you think Horn will tell them to do?” asked Strigel.

“Oh, and isn’t that an interesting question.” Piazza lowered the wand and tapped it against his leg a few times. “My guess is that Horn will stay out of it. He’ll do in Swabia what the landgravine of Hesse-Kassel will do in her province. My reasoning is as follows. First –”

The wand came back up and tapped the area of the map just to the west of Swabia. The only legend there was: controlled by Saxe-Weimar. The map had not been updated to reflect the USE’s formal recognition of Bernhard’s newly-formed County of Burgundy as an independent realm, which had happened only recently.

“Horn is specifically assigned in Swabia to keep Bernhard of Saxe-Weimar in check. That assignment came directly from Gustav Adolf himself, which gives Horn a good legal pretext to stay put if he chooses to use it. Secondly, while he has more troops than Bernhard does, he doesn’t have that many more. It’s a simple fact that if Horn pulled out a large part of his army that Bernhard could probably overrun Swabia.”

Rebecca shook her head. “I doubt that he would, Ed.”

“I don’t think he would either. Bernhard is one of the sharpest pencils in the box. Anybody’s box. He’ll be looking to play both sides against the middle if we fall into civil war and gain whatever advantages he can for that little kingdom-in-all-but-name he’s putting together. But he won’t take the risk of choosing one side over the other — what if his pick loses? — and he won’t try to grab any territory that is clearly under USE jurisdiction. Sooner or later the civil war would end, and whichever side won would come looking for him with blood in their eyes. At which point he’d be a small fox facing an angry bear. No, he’ll stay out of it. Besides…”

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20 Responses to 1636: The Saxon Uprising — Snippet 14

  1. Virgil says:

    I almost wish that Eric had not started these snippets so soon, it almost less then a page a snippet. I understand why if they were much bigger he snippet the whole story before an eArch could be released.

  2. Sounour says:

    There was no eARC of The Eastern Front :( we’ll see if there will be an eARC of this book

  3. Jason says:

    also they seem to try and out out no more than half the book before it comes out so we have three snippets a week till April.

  4. jorge says:

    i got electronic version of eastern Front, bought it at baen.

  5. Drak Bibliophile says:

    Jorge, the eARCs are the Electronic Advanced Reader Copies of some Baen books and are sold for $15.

    Eastern Front didn’t have an eARC but you purchased the usual Baen eversion of the book for $6.

  6. hank says:

    What a quandry it would be for Bernard anyway. does he support the people who stole his patrimony or the brother(s) who stood by and let it happen and then cut him cold when he objected?
    Poor little rich boy.

  7. robert says:

    Do/did any of Eric’s books have eARCs?

    @1 Virgil, you were thinking the same thing that I was: a measly page! And only one book being snippeted. The problem is that none of the Baen authors except Eric and the Davids (Freer, Drake, Weber) (sounds like a boy band), do any snippeting. I should be careful what I wish for-were they to snippet, some of the Baen authors would begin and end each snippet with a hail of bullets and lifeless dialog in between.

  8. Robert Krawitz says:

    It’s slow going this way, but this book is showing a *lot* of promise.

  9. JohnF says:

    Oh for the days of Mission of Honor, A Mighty Fortress and The Crucible of Empire all snippetting (?) at the same time!

  10. Summertime says:

    Yes, sure wish Drake or Weber, or anyone, really, had something they were willing to snippet for us!

  11. @10

    Anyone? I suspect that any number of authors who darkened the days of Toni and the Baen slush pile would be delighted to be snippeted. Start with the ones whose spelling, grammar, and sentence structure are so bad that we would have hundreds of posts debating the meaning of each sentence. Not ‘the deep spiritual and symbolic meaning’ but ‘which side just lost 22,412 dreadnoughts?’

    However, if you truly need anything to read, and aren’t up to typing in Perry Rhodan or Kapitan Mors and feeding them through Babelfish, send me phillies@4liberty.net your email and I will send you the RTF of my latest novel, for free.

  12. robert says:

    @10 Webscriptions has a Sample Chapter of the upcoming Worlds of Honor compendium, consisting of one of the 4 or 5 stories (Jane Lindskold’s). But it was less than enticing. Don’t read it if you are the least bit weary.

  13. Nimitz says:

    The ENTIRE ARC for the next Honor Harrington compendium is now available at: http://www.webscription.net/p-1334-in-fire-forged-worlds-of-honor-v-arc.aspx

    Strange it’s not listed in the ARC section but did show up in the new arrivals section. 1635:The Eastern Front and the 3/4 version of the Eastern Front didn’t show up in either place, so they’re getting better at advertising their hot new novels! VBG


  14. Daryl says:

    S.M Stirling is with Baen and often has his snippets on an other page, but alas not for months now.

  15. Drak Bibliophile says:

    Daryl, S.M. Stirling hasn’t had a new book published by Baen in years.

  16. robert says:

    @14 Daryl: Stirling is published by ROC. I do not think he has had anything published by Baen since the collaboration with David Drake on the General series or whatever it was called. One can find an occasional snippet of his on Buckley’s jiltanith site.

  17. Summertime says:

    I don’t lack for reading material; have several from SFBC and B and N I haven’t read. Just like the snips of upcoming books and the posts commenting on them – some of the posts anyway. Stirling’s new work can be found at smstirling.com, a website devoted to his books, but the latest is the already published KING OF MONTIVAL, and the next in that series likely will not be available for a while.

  18. Peter says:

    Just a note – there’s also a link from the above SM Stirling fan web site to a fanfic page with (he says modestly) some pretty good fanfic on it. Just in case anyone here is desperate for something to read. :-)
    (end of self-promotion)

  19. Summertime says:

    Peter is correct; there is fanfic on the smstirling website. It is very good and relates very well to the DIES THE FIRE series of stories. One does not have to be desperate to read these stories, just interested in the series.

  20. Daryl says:

    @16 Sorry, I was fooled by the links to Baen for the Draka & General series. Another interesting page is http://www.johnringo.net/. Great story teller & I tune out his politics. Yet another http://www.sfsite.com/~silverag/turtledove.html and of course http://www.davidweber.net/.

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