“Any response from the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth(*Poland for short from now)? Since they were long trade partners with our kingdom for a long time, surely, our doom would also be a disaster to them, I believe.”
“I’m terribly sorry, your majesty, but the current king of Poland, Sigismund III Vasa, is only interested in claiming his right to the throne of Sweden, so their help is out of the question.”
The war became the nastiest, worst-case scenario. With the Hanseatic League(*Hansa for short from now.)’s financial aid, France and Spain escaped from the fate of default and regained strength to continue the war. The Denmark-Norway Kingdom(*Denmark for short from now.) sided with the Hanseatic League to protect their hegemony in the North Sea, and the United Kingdom’s long trading partner in East Europe – Poland – chose silence.
“Sweet mother of God! How can this be! Tell me, then Poland wishes to cease trade with us and switch sides to our enemies?”
“No, your majesty. Poland swore to be neutral at any circumstances. They won’t interfere in this war, no matter what.”
Luckily, Poland didn’t cease trade with us. It could have been worse, since if Poland didn’t exchange their barley and wheat with United Kingdom’s mutton and wool, the United Kingdom – which uses most of its farming lands on raising sheep - would have starved to death.
The problem is, the North Sea route to Poland is currently blocked by our enemies – Denmark and several city-states of Hansa.
If they block the North Sear route with their navy and cut off food supplies from Poland, the United Kingdom may face unprecedented mass starvation.
“We must silence the Danes within next year, your majesty.”
That what the Minister of Defense, Walter Raleigh said to me with a rigid face. He too knows the importance of the food import from Poland – which became the United Kingdom’s sole food supplier, with France’s betrayal from the start of the war.
“That’s right, Sir Walter. So, Sir Francis, can you pull Swedes to our side?”
After hearing Walter’s advice, I first asked the Foreign Secretary, Sir Francis Walsingham the possibility of siding with Sweden. Because Sweden and Denmark used to fight like cats and dogs since Sweden’s independence from Denmark, as they always say, the enemy of my enemy is my friend.
“...I’ll do my best, your majesty.”
Sir Francis bowed his head as he replied to my question. It was a meaning that ‘Okay, I’ll try. But I’m not 100% sure that they will say yes or maybe, they’ll try a highway robbery on us.’
“...I’ll be counting on you, Sir Francis.”
“And Sir Walter? From the 140,000 troops stationed at the Netherlands, I’ll change 20,000 into farmer-soldiers, just like the Byzantine Theme.”
In short, I gave full confidence to the Foreign Secretary and notified the Minister of Defense that instead of attacking, I’ll focus on defense and wait for the enemy's supplies to be depleted faster than ours.
“At your service, your majesty.”
Both of them answered without any objection, thinking it was the best idea at the moment, bowing.
Of course, that wasn’t everything. I quickly summoned the Senators and the Representatives of the Congress and announced
“...During the war, I’ll make the North American colonies cultivate wheat, barley, and potato just in case the food imports from Poland stops.”
“...Certainly, your majesty.”
“Excellent idea, your majesty!”
That’s what the congressmen replied.
However, when I said
“...In addition, for stable food distribution during the wartime, the foods that have been grown from both the colonies and inland will be first purchased by the government and then will be put out at the market at a reasonable price.”
the Senators and the Representative alike, all rejected.
“No, your majesty! It’ll be a waste of tax!”
“Are you trying to make all distributors go bankrupt, your majesty?”
‘Why you basket of deplorables. You’re just the same as the landlords of England during the Napoleon Law, who enacted the Corn Law and sold wheat and other grains at double, no, several times higher than the original price before John Stewart Mill trashed that law.’
“...Then, I’ll do it with Royal assets, instead of taxes. What say?”
‘Okay. I won’t use your damn money but mine. And since it’s wartime now, if you refuse even this...'
So, I replied like this. And because the Parliament couldn’t interfere with the royal assets, they suggested
“...Then, your majesty, how about emigrating violent criminals and murderers to the North American colonies?”
“Yes, your majesty. Growing several crops would surely need a more hand at the colony’s farms!”
In short, they said
‘Okay, you won on the food market issue. But give us the rights to run the farms of the North American colonies, for a give and take.’
Because I didn’t want to fight with the Congress in this situation, I just replied yes by saying
And the emigration of those criminals and murders to the North American Colonies was set for next spring, which the ship can sail.
Sweden’s reply came. Only 2 words were present at the message that Foreign Secretary Sir Francis brought.
This means that Sweden will gather troops and wage war against Denmark when the weather conditions improve in next spring. Now, the United Kingdom got one and only friend in this war in entire Europe.
But as they always say, clouds always follow the sunshine.
“U, urgent news, your majesty!”
“What is it?”
“The enemies are attacking the Netherlands at all directions simultaneously!”
Yes. While I received affirmative message from Sweden, at the Netherlands, the alliance of Spain-France-League of the Protestant Prince-Electors of the Holy Roman Empire(*German Feudal Lords for short from now.) started a massive attack.
Their numbers? 40,000 Danish army, 70,000 troops of the German Feudal Lords, 60,000 Spanish army, and 40,000 French troops. And that was 210,000 in total.
Meanwhile, the United Kingdom’s soldiers and hired mercenaries stationed in the Netherlands were only 160,000. It was the first time that the United Kingdom was outnumbered in a number of troops.
To be specific, the Danes and the Germans attacked the east side of the Netherlands via Rhineland while the Spanish and French attacked from the south. In short, it was a two-front war, although its’ battlefield was much shorter than the 2nd Reich in WW1 or Nazi Germany in WW2.
But, I’m not Hitler or Wilhelm II. I’ll never lose.
“No rush. If we defend this attack, they won’t have any strength left. No need to worry about the supplies. Just focus on defense.”
Why am I so confident? The fact that their number of troops outnumber is that they’ve also cost an arm and a leg to prepare this attack. In fact, more than half of those 210,000 troops are hired mercenaries. So, I’m 140% sure that Hansa’s budget – which will be in charge of both paying salaries for those mercenaries and giving loans to France and Spain - is in serious reds. In short, if I withstand this attack, they will be the first to crumble, not us.
“The Royal Navy and Marines no longer need to tackle France. Instead, from now, at whatever cost, capture the sea power of the North Sea. Make Denmark and Hansa regret that they shouldn’t have stepped into this battle!”
“Of course, your majesty!”
While I ordered to be defensive on the lands, I’ve ordered the Royal Navy and 10,000 marines to attack Denmark, instead of putting the in the Netherlands. Of course, they would surely have put a lot of defense in their mainlands, but they didn’t pick someone their own size.
The Danish Navy! Ha! They’re no match for the Royal Navy and the privateers of the West and East India Company. While the Scandinavian Vikings were only quarreling with each other at the North Sea only, the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy and privateers of both companies have had countless far sea voyage experiences in Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans.
The only worthy match for them was only the full-power Armada, which is currently locked up in Spanish ports due to a budget deficit and unpaid salaries.
The main battle in the Netherlands began in late November. To no one’s surprise, the Regent Elizabeth(or the Lioness)’s French troops launched the first attack. The 40,000 France army’s feat was comparable with that of 100,000, while the Spanish army has long lost its’ will to fight and just lingered on the battlefield.
At the field battle, the United Kingdom’s troops lost every time they fought with the Lioness and her soldiers, and the French army’s morale was all fired up.
However, at the siege assault, they’ve never shown that kind of feat because they carried horse artillery for mobility which lacked firepower. So, in order to attack the Netherlands’ defense lines where the defeated United Kingdom’s troops hide for sanctuary, the needed to borrow the Spain army’s enormous Coastal artillery. And when they successfully borrowed it and brought into the battlefield, the United Kingdom’s troops already fortified the defense lines and replenished soldiers.
In the end, although the French army won countless times they couldn’t get an overwhelming victory while the United Kingdom’s army withholds and defended the attacks, stuck in the defense lines, even though their casualties accumulated.
Meanwhile, the Denmark-German Feudal Lords Alliance troops attacked simultaneously. The Denmark Army and Navy tried to ground and naval attack at the same time, using their Viking era tradition. However, the Denmark-Hansa Alliance Navy was ambushed by the Royal Navy and privateers of the East and West India Company – who were waiting for them to come out from the ports - at the Frisian Islands and was seriously defeated.
But that was just the beginning of their doom. The Royal Navy’s Fluyts which were built in the Netherlands were cut out for fast voyage and chased the Denmark-Hansa Alliance Navy till their last breath. So, the Royal Navy again destroyed their foe at the Orkney Islands. From that point, the sea power in the North Sea was completely United Kingdom’s and the Royal Navy, accompanied by the 10,000 marines, blasted the port cities of Denmark and North Germany coastlines.
And they did the same thing to the fellow Christians – although Danes and North Germans being Protestants – as they did to Moroccans. As soon as they finished looting port cities of Denmark and City-states of Hansa, they kidnapped the civilians living there and emigrated them to North American colonies to do forced labor – mostly farming.
But it was a different matter at ground warfare. The German Feudal Lords’ troops were more cut out for siege assaults than the Lioness since they were fed up with them due to routine civil wars caused by-election results of Kaiser of the Holy Roman Empire or religious conflicts between the Catholic and the Protestants. Due to their fierce attack, the New Hadrian's wall I’ve built at the Netherlands’ eastern border during the Cologne War in case of the attack from the Holy Roman Empire – from the Catholic or Protestant side – was blasted in just 2 weeks.
And that’s why summoned the sacked Philip Sidney, the former Minister of Defense, who was fired for receiving a bribe from guilds.
“Sir Philip? I’ll give you 27,000 soldiers. Don’t let the Germans invade the Netherlands further!”
Yes, he may be corrupt, and not apt for a Minister of Defense, but he’s an excellent general and can’t be left out in this situation. And I wanted to give him a 2nd chance to save his face.
“Thank you so much, your majesty! I won’t let you down and crush the Germans!”
Sir Philip silently bowed his head, as I handed him a sword, a symbol of a commander. He was determined to recover his honor, which was in rags after being charged with a bribe from military suppliers and sacked from the post of Minister of Defense.