After years of incremental progress the half formed dream of Italian unification finally becomes a reality!
In January Garibaldi forces the surrender of the Neapolitan army. The kingdom of the Two Sicily’s is no more as Garibaldi hands over the territory he has conquered to King Victor Emmanuel II. (Future generations of biscuits can now rest easy that they will be given the correct name.)
This proves to have a domino effect throughout the peninsular as Tuscany also joins the newly unified nation. The city of Bologna frees itself from Papal rule and is subsequently incorporated into the new state. In Parma the people rise whole heartedly in support of Italy despite the presence of a large Austrian occupation army. The Austrians withdraw in the face of international pressure. The price of this withdrawal is steep however as ownership of Parma’s iron mines and agricultural land is ceded to Austria.
** In game terms the unification event tried to assimilate Parma which was under Austrian occupation at the time. Ownership of Parma went to Italy (forcing the Austrian army out of the province) whilst the 2 iron mines and the wheat farm remained Austrian. Even after an Italian army moved in and gained full military control the structures remained in Austrian hands. Obviously the event was not designed to deal with this situation so I will live with it for the time being.
To cement this take over Victor Emmanuel moved quickly to assemble his deputies from all over his newly acquired realm to deal with the chaotic aftermath.
Also in this month somewhat overshadowed by events in the Mediterranean Russian diplomats humiliate Prussia over an alleged diplomatic slight.
In February Mexico our main trading partner in the Americas and Britain give diplomatic recognition to our new nation
** In game terms Mexico moves onto the list of friendly nations and Britain agrees to a state visit.
Through all of these tumultuous events the Vatican remains in firm control of Rome and the surrounding region of Lazio. This leads to many highly heated debates in the Parliament building in Turin demanding the immediate incorporation of Rome into the Italian state.
Matters come to a head in March when a Papal courier is intercepted on his way to Vienna with documents purportedly requesting an Austrian garrison to secure Rome against Italian aggression.
The thought of our most hated enemy occupying Rome is enough to unify all the various disparate factions behind firm action. In April with Italy not even 6 months old a declaration of war is delivered to the Papal States.
** In game terms I manage to forge a Casus Belli against the Papal States after three failed attempts. Each attempt is expensive as it costs 100 prestige points and 5 diplomats. Luckily I have plenty of diplomats to spare left over from the annexations of the various Italian minors.
During January our II Army moves out from its positions in Liguria to reclaim Parma for the Italian nation and to secure northern Italy from any future aggression.
Our I Army moves via sea transport from Liguria to Napoli to ostensibly provide security for the Italian peninsular in the chaotic aftermath of unification. In truth the general staff are told to draw up invasion plans of the Papal States.
As part of these plans II Army is stripped of its siege artillery and engineers and is ordered to rendezvous with I Army. General Filberto Mollard and his Marines are also ordered north from Sicily to Napoli.
Papal War April 1862 to ?
Our plan of attack was to assault westwards with I Army from Abruzzo therefore avoiding a river assault. General Filberto Mollard and his marine division with attached artillery would defend Campania and discourage Papal forces from retreating southwards. Rome would be besieged and any remaining Papal forces were to be eliminated between the vice of II Army in the north and I Army advancing from the South.
The resulting battle of Rome is a resounding if expensive victory producing the heaviest casualties seen on the European continent in over a decade.
The Papal General Kalbermatten skilfully manages to keep his shattered army together and retreats north east into Romagna. Rome now defenceless falls in early April.
After detaching his siege train in Rome General Ferdinado di Savoire moves north in pursuit of his broken enemy. General Mollard moves north to secure Rome and prevent any attempt to breakout to the south.
In May another battle is fought in Toscanna where the Papal army is all but destroyed
By the beginning of June all the remaining Papal forces have been forced to surrender.
Both Ferdinado Di Savoire the commander of I Army and Ettore Gerbaix de Soniaz commander of the Guards Corps are both mentioned in dispatches and a new campaign medal is commissioned
** In game terms both leaders improve their seniority and we pass another military medal decision.
With the declaration of war the Pope flees the Vatican we must now wait for him to acknowledge the scale of the defeat.
** In game terms I need to wait for a sufficiently high war score to claim Lazio (Rome)
Sheewan War May 1859 to ?
As predicted a stalemate falls over the region. Sheewan forces are not strong enough to push us out from our recent gains whilst our forces are equally not strong enough to wrest their mountain stronghold from the now concentrated units of their army.
General Fanti the “Lion of Ethiopia” begins his long trip back to Italy to oversee the shake up of the soon to be expanded Italian army. His successor has yet to be named.
We have built the following military units:
- Replacements: Over this 6 month period we produce enough replacement chits to have 3 chits in each land category and over 10 in each naval category
- 4 x Garrison Regiments (Puglia, Tuscany, Abrusso, Romagna)
- 2 x Expedition Brigades
- 1 x Colonial Brigade
We begin building up the military infrastructure of our new nation:
Romagna, Po, Abruzzo and Toscanna begin constructing fortifications.
We also start building harbours in Toscana and Romagna.
** In game terms I want each province to have a port so that in the event of a siege the enemy will also need to blockade the port to fully isolate it.Economy
The economy of our new nation is split into the industrial power house of the former Sardinia-Piedmont and the mainly agrarian south.
The first steps to fully unifying the country are to improve the communications between north and south. A massive program of railway construction is undertaken and by the end of June railways are being built in every newly acquired province (including Rome). This is to be the vanguard of our industrialisation project.
After the initial wave of enthusiasm discontent quickly sweeps through the country as people look for tangible signs of change. This is not helped by the major world economic crises which has seen inflation rise to 5% and rising populations in Alpes-Maritime, Romagna and Sicily
In January we increase social protection to help the poorest in society however this proves to be just a drop in the ocean. In Parma we are even forced to send in the troops against our own people to help maintain order.
With the increase of our tax base and the accumulated treasuries of the former Italian states we are now able to fund 2 further research projects. Whilst continuing to research Breech Loading Rifles we begin funding Ironclad Wooden ships and Maritime Law
** In game terms I am aiming to boost development by funding the 2 technologies closest to completion whilst keeping funding for at least 1 military project.
The rise in population has led to a substantial increase in demand for goods by our population. We now require 49 Food; 40 Common goods and 27 luxury items which we were able to meet in every month except June when rioters in Parma looted several shops.
We learned how to harness the following technologies:
- Ironclad Wooden Ships (April)
- Railroad Transport Groups (April)
- Gatling Gun (June)
We started researching the following technologies:
- Iron Ships (April)
- Herman Hapt USMC (April)
- Railroad Batteries (April)
- Armed Trains (April)
- Ironclad Trains (April)
We started the following industrial improvements:
- Railroads (mentioned above)
We completed the following industrial improvements:
- Wood Logging - Vosges, France (February)
- Luxury Goods Shop - Sardinia - (February)
With the resources of a major nation behind us we suddenly have many new options available to us to gain our place in the sun.
As we are now a recognised actor on the international stage we test this assertion by declaring Somalia as our protectorate. This pretension is accepted by the rest of the world in June. Following this success we seek to bring neighbouring Somaliland under our “protection” as well.
With this recognition of our new status we undertake several new investments in Mogadishu such as building a military outpost and the beginnings of a telecommunication network and school.
Moving outward from Mogadishu we establish military outposts over the rest of Somalia and Somaliland.
Elsewhere in the Arabian peninsular our diplomats begin pressuring tribal leaders to submit to our authority whilst our naval squadron moves off the coast of Zanzibar to impress the natives with power of our technology.
Finally after many false starts it has been identified that Harer is capable of doubling its coffee output
** In game terms my prospectors finally find another coffee resource here.
We completed the following Colonial buildings:
- Forts are built in Negele and Bonga
- Military outposts are built in Busaso, Ogaden, Baidoa, Hobyo and Mogadishu
Riding the crest of the unification wave we manage to overtake the Ottomans and move into 6th position. At the time of passing them we were 758 points behind the Austrians in 5th position however with the several attempts required to forge a Casus Belli against the Papal States and the 100 point cost to declare war this gap had risen slightly at the end of June.