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Battles under the CPoE

Siege of Luebeck

Defense of Luebeck

Timeline October 7-12th(?), 1633 in the novel 1633

The Defense of Luebeck, or more formally, the Naval Defense of Luebeck was an ad hoc delaying action by United States of Europe up-timers using higher technology to foil a close blockade of the port of Lübeck using timed mines applied by scuba-diving equipped Americans against the powerful surprise invasion fleet sent by the League of Ostend powers of France, Denmark and England intending to cut Gustavus off from his supplies and reinforcements in Sweden, but ultimately aimed at Grantville, whom he is protecting with his armies. The multifaceted attack included concurrent actions on other fronts to hold USE forces pinned to other regions of north and south-central Germany, an overland invasion against northern Germany that became the Siege of Luebeck which managed to trap king Gustavus Adolf II himself, and sufficient naval forces to deal with the numerically inferior Swedish navy escorting additional expeditionary forces sufficient to take and hold other eastern Baltic ports held by the USE or Sweden.

Battle of Wismar

Timeline October 9, 1633 in the novel 1633

The battle of Wismar (or Battle of Wismar Bay, or Battle of Wismar and Rostock) was a combined sea-air defense of the Bay of Wismar arm of the Bay of Mecklenburg—a ad-hoc and somewhat desperate defense against a surprise invasion fleet sent by the League of Ostend powers of France, Denmark and England intending to take and occupy the ports of Wismar and Rostock and thus cut off Gustavus from his supply lines from Sweden. The attack was intended as a masterstroke inspired by the plotting of Cardinal Richelieu, with the further intention of investing Swedish ports as well, once it had landed expeditionary forces and flanked Gustavus's army which was simultaneously being pressed on all fronts—and in particular, being pinned in the overland attack by the French and Dutch at the Siege of Luebeck.

Battles under the USE

The Battle of Wismar fomented an internal crisis pitting the rising feelings of nationalism against the interests of the nobility that came to a head in the capital city of Magdeburg the day after the news of the heroic death of Hans Richter reached the capital by radio. Mike Stearns, as the President of the New United States which has Gustavus as "Protector-General Gars" of the nobility-hamstrung Confederated Principalities of Europe acted to head off the incipient riot and characteristically, "stumbled forward" using the crowds mood and reports from Gustavus Adolphus's trusted General Lennart Torstensson to negotiate a new governmental setup, the United States of Europe, by radio in a marathon bargaining session. Stearns becomes the new prime minister of Emperor Gustavus, and the improved parliamentary set-up has a house of commons with teeth—the power of the exchequer and taxation—whereas the commoners in Europe have taken to calling Stearns "The Prince of Germany" whilst its nobles can't decide whether he or Gretchen Richter are their worst nightmares.

Outside of small unit clashes, the northern European theater had little happening outside the ongoing siege of Luebeck, though Stearns decided to authorize one mission to send an unmistakable message as 1634 wanes.

Raid on Paris

Timeline winter 1633-44 in the story in "Collateral Damage"

In revenge of the death of Hans Richter in the Battle of Wismar, Chief of Staff of the New United States Air Force struggles against weariness and fatigue during a long uncomfortable flight and a threatening thunderhead in a plane ill equipped to power above the turbulent air of the storm system advancing across eastern France. He manages both and bombs Paris, with Cardinal Richelieu watching from the balcony off his office. His bombs score direct hits— and thousands of propaganda leaflets deal a blow to the French monarchy in revenge for the Cardinal's engineering of the League of Ostend.

Massacre on the English Channel

Timeline: January 1634 in the novel 1634: The Baltic War[1]

Harry Lefferts, Captain in the United States of Europe Secret Service and U.S. Army leads a co-ed team of mixed international backgrounds into England in small boat across the English Channel, having wisely departed the Siege of Amsterdam after selling three of the four portraits painted by the Dutch masters ("Portraits") before nurse and portrait subject Anne Jefferson realizes he's sold them. The funds are for a good cause though, monies disbursed to buy passage (a whole boat, in fact) for the commando team to effect a rescue of the embassy party locked up in the Tower of London by minister Thomas Wentworth at the behest of King Charles I of England. The voyagers meet up with pirates based in North Africa, who regularly ply their trade in channel waters. Suckering the pirates in close with a bit of comic sexmanship, the deadly commando team mercilessly cuts down the pirate crew in a hail bullets from up-time guns and for good measure toss an improvised incendiary device aboard to ensure the dead men tell no tales of the commando teams coming to England.

Raid on the Wietze oil fields

Timeline: Early spring 1634 in the novel 1634: The Baltic War[2]

Newly minted Field Marshal Henri Turrenne, Viscomte of Turrenne leads a cavalry raid using their new percussion based breech loading carbines against the new oil fields south of Luebeck that the Americans hope will restore gasoline and diesel fuel to their strategic materials bag of tricks.

Battle of Mecklenburg Bay/Battle of Luebeck Bay

Timeline: Early spring 1634 in the novel 1634: The Baltic War[3]

The naval action in the Bay of Mecklenburg pitted the steam engine powered carronade armed timberclad warships and diesel-powered ironclads developed in Magdeburg by United States of Europe Admiral John Chandler Simpson against the combined English, French and Danish fleets blockading Lübeck Bay from the fall of 1633 through the spring of 1634 to relieve the Siege of Luebeck. The battle is very one-sided, with the USE naval forces being equipped with radio, having a scouting airplane in constant contact, and a weight of metal with explosive shells from both ten-inch naval rifles and devastating carronades versus the eighteen-pounder naval cannons of the 17th century League of Ostend warships, results in a USE victory without loses. The destruction of the League's warships forces its coalition of Danish, English, and French armies to withdraw from Lübeck.

Escape from the tower

Timeline: January through slightly later spring 1634 in the novel 1634: The Baltic War[4]

Setting – Inside and outside the Tower of London, London, Kingdom of England

This battle (or event) title was at one time plotted to be a novel title, but Flint decided to shuffle outlined plot elements around between books into new groups when he and David Weber were unable to get together writing in their second attempt to schedule a mutually agreeable time-window (The third window of opportunity was the charm).

In this story, the USE embassy party that has been interred for well over six months (imprisoned summer 1633 to early spring 1634) in the Tower of London by Charles I of England and his minister Thomas Wentworth, newly minted Earl of Strafford thanks to the American history books, are broken out of their comfortable lodgings by a commando team headed by the redoubtable Harry Lefferts and the sharpshooting of Julie Mackay née Sims. In the event, circumstances have aligned to make some of the Beefeaters of the tower, the Yeoman Warders decide to side with the Americans for they have been alienated from their English loyalties by being insulted by the new prime minister, Richard Boyle, governing England in Charles' name. Parts of the tower were damaged by the Leffert team's dynamite, though most death dealing was by the marksmanship of Julie, who'd rendezvoused with Leffert's unit. About fifty individuals depart the tower environs with alacrity down the Thames on a barge and one boat. To sow confusion and lead a false trail, Leffert's team also blows up repairable parts of London Bridge and burns down Shakespeare's Globe Theater. The group is later rescued by the USE timberclad Achates, co-commandeered by USE prime minister Mike Stearns.

Battle of Copenhagen

Timeline: later spring 1634 in the novel 1634: The Baltic War[3] The Battle of Copenhagen took place when Admiral Simpson took his ironclads and timberclads into Copenhagen using a southern approach, thus by-passing a mining effort put down by the minions of king Christian IV of Denmark. Occurring in the spring of 1634, the fleet was harassed by torpedo boats armed with spar torpedos which attempted to close under the cover of smoke generators—the technique for which Christian's spies had garnered from the libraries at Grantville. The Danes were able to disable one ironclad ship with the torpedoes, which was intentionally grounded. Its rifled naval canons were subsequently transported overland (in a bit of comic narration) to Inglostat by Admiral Simpson's sonTom Simpson and Lieutenant Eddie Cantrell when Mary Simpson ended up in the hands of Maximilian I of Bavaria to aid in the expected attack against the Catholic armies in the south, Frederick II of Austria still being in control in Vienna. Transporting the naval canon turned out to be a fools errand given the road conditions in 1634, but the outcome does place some castle busters on scene for future confrontations, and there is an allusion to both Mike Stearns and Emperor Gustavus being pleased with that outcome for the future possibilities.

Within the Battle of Copenhagen, the whole action after the torpedo boats devolved into a demonstration of the futility of resisting the USE naval force by reducing the Castle of Copenhagen to rubble in a bombardment. The scene was given some gravity by negotiations before and after between Simpson and King Christian IV, and the bombardment itself was both hair raising and comic in that the prisoner Eddie Cantrell had been incarcerated in the castle as punishment for misleading Christian during drunken attempts to pump him for information, particularly regarding technologies.

Notes and references

  1. 1634: The Baltic War, "Chapter 12-13" pp= 122-139; date and quote on pp. 138, q=On Algerine Pirates picked at random surviving without a boat '... the narrowest stretch of the Strait of Dover which was still many miles away. And he was dead sure they hadn't done it in January. Maybe if he were wearing a wet suit...'
  2. 1634: The Baltic War, Flint and Weber, "Chapter 49-50", pp. 509-526
  3. 3.0 3.1 Flint and Weber, "Chapter 52" of 1634: The Baltic War, pp. 536-544
  4. Flint and Weber, "Chapter 11, pp. 109— and others through the escape itself in Chapters 53-57" of 1634: The Baltic War, pp. 545-583}}

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