New, daily updating edition

Headlines  |  Alternate Histories  |  International Edition

Home Page


Alternate Histories

International Edition

List of Updates

Want to join?

Join Writer Development Section

Writer Development Member Section

Join Club ChangerS


Chris Comments

Book Reviews


Letters To The Editor


Links Page

Terms and Conditions



Alternate Histories

International Edition

Alison Brooks



Other Stuff


If Baseball Integrated Early


Today in Alternate History

This Day in Alternate History Blog

Site Meter








 A Differerent Kingdom of Italy


            Italy’s always struck me as a might have ran. It was once the center of European civilization, but declined into a backwater as new routes west opened. Then, in the 18th century, the “Prussia of the South”, The Kingdom of Sardinia, began to establish military hegemony in Italy. It never quite succeeded, but let’s see what we can do about that.


Well, first off, we can’t place the pod in the 19th or 20th centuries. By that point, it’s probably too late to make Italy realistically powerful. Italy must be united by 1820, at the latest; and with a substantial portion (Northern Italy, say) under one rule before that. Here’s what I suggest, to the humble readers of the Times.


I tend to favor small PODs with big effects later on, as some readers may (or may not) have noticed. The Roman Caliphate began with an arrow moving a few inches sidewise, which is why in that Timeline, the Fraxinetum League discovered America. Hapsburg-Savoy involved a man not catching a disease; A plague wipes out a noble family in “A plague on both your houses”, which you’ll see next month.


So let’s use plague to kill Duchess Annete. Poor Victor, the heir to the Duchy of Savoy, is heartbroken. But let the good news is that he can now marry Elisabetta Farnese.


Elisabetta was the woman who convinced the Spanish Bourbons to adopt a policy towards Italian domination, rather than following the French line. So, this means that Spain no longer has a policy geared towards Italy. That is not to say the Spanish will not be interested in retaking what was once a Spanish territory. But what it does mean is that Elisabetta Farnese will not be married to King Phillip of Spain. Instead, he shall be married to: Victor Amadeus Savoy the heir to the Duchy of Piedmonte-Savoy (1).



Now, in OTL, Elisabetta was determined to secure, for her children, lands in Italy. Historically she was heir to Parma, Tuscany, and Piacenza. But she also encouraged Phillip to make moves against Naples, Sardinia, and Sicily. So what does happen when you combine Sicily, Savoy/Piemonte, Tuscany, Parma, and Piacenza with a reformist king and a queen who wants land for her sons?


Well, for starters, in 1713, Duke Victor becomes the King of Sicily at the Treaty of Utrecht, as in OTL.  But unlike in OTL, the Spanish do not try to retake Sicily and Sardinia. Sardinia remains in Austrian hands, and Sicily remains in Savoyard hands.


Victor is a good king, and loves his people. In 1716, he establishes relief for the poor in his Kingdom. Begging is forbidden, but hospices are established to put children and able-bodied paupers to work.  In 1717, the Council of Finance was established, to control the Kingdom’s finances. Encouraging reform, he creates new noble titles, to give to his supporters. He crushes brigands in Sicily, and establishes order and prosperity on the island. The Constitutions are passed, giving his country a firm set of laws for the entire Kingdom. It controls religion, the competences and duties of magistrates, civil and criminal law, feudal rights, seigniorial jurisdiction, the mines, roads, forests etc. Other edicts  improve public hygiene [2]. A land survey is begun in 1728, increasing the state’s revenues.  


And there is a good reason for all of this. Victor establishes a professional army for his Kingdom, something which requires money. He militarized Savoy to an incredible extent, and built a well-trained army in a few short years.


Victor at this point is feeling rather hemmed in by the Austrians, ruling Sardinia and Naples. And when he abdicates in favor of his son in 1731, it is not surprising that his son, Charles Emmanuel King of Sicily, joins France in the War of Polish Succession.


Poland at the time is an electoral monarchy, in which the nobles elect the king. A great idea in theory, but ultimately unworkable, as this example proves. The King of Poland, Augustus II of Saxony, passes away in 1732. His death triggered a deadlock in the vote; while Stanislas of Poland received a large share, Augustus’s son, Augustus III, had a great deal of support as well. This would not have been important. But Stanislas’s son in law was Louis XIV, King of France. And thus the war of Polish Succession began.


War breaks out in 1733, and on several fronts. In northern Italy, Sicilian-Franco forces face off against a forty thousand strong Austrian-Prussian army at the Battle of Parma, in June. The battle is a tactical and strategic victory for Sicily, which rapidly overruns Milan in the aftermath. The Spanish, meanwhile, capture Sardinia.


On the Rhine and in the Low Countries, the French occupy the Austrian Netherlands and Lorraine, where the husband of Maria Theresa is from. In Poland, Stanislas flees to Danzig, and leaves the city under cover of darkness. Russian troops then enter, and appoint Augustus as king.


In the Treaty of Vienna, the sides come to an agreement. Roughly, the treaty states that:


1)     Stanislas shall receive the Duchy of Lorraine, with the Duchy passing to France on his death.

2)     Augustus III is the King of Poland.

3)     Sardinia becomes the Duchy of Sardinia, ruled by a Spanish Bourbon.

4)     The Kingdom of Sicily receives the Duchy of Milan. The Duke of Lorraine will receive the Grand Duchy of Tuscany upon the death of its last Medici ruler (which occurs in 1737). This infuriates Charles, who feels betrayed by the French; he wanted Genoa too.


Sicilian assistance would, of course, be vital in the war of Austrian Succession


The War of Austrian Succession


Emperor Charles VI of Austria had a problem. He was the younger of two sons, and his elder brother, the former Emperor, had died, but not before giving issue to two daughters. The problem was that Charles wanted his daughter, Maria Theresa, to inherit power, along with her husband, the Duke of Lorraine. His brother’s eldest daughter, Maria Josepha, has been married to Augustus of Saxony.


Now, he manages to get most o the European powers to sign the Pragmatic Sanction, stating that Maria Theresa shall inherit the Austrian lands. And this seems to work.


Then the Emperor is rude enough as to pass away. The Empire has just ended an expensive war with the Ottomans, in which it lost Serbia, so many believe that the Empire is weak.


Bavaria has a claim as well. According to Charles, Elector of Bavaria, the Austrian ruler Ferdinand I had stated in his will that, should legitimate heirs to the Hapsburg throne die out, then the lands should fall to the descendents of his eldest sister, Anna. Charles was a descendent of Anna, and thus he should be the Archduke of Austria. Phillip of Spain cites a treaty between Phillip of Spain and Ferdinand, his brother. Augustus of Saxony claims the throne by virtue of having married Maria Josepha [3].


In 1740, Maria Theresa, and her husband, the Duke of Lorraine, assume the throne. Frederick of Prussia offers to vote for her husband on the condition that she gives to him Silesia, and Prussian troops invade in December of 1740. In June of 1742, the Empress cedes Silesia to Frederick, but she now has other problems. Augustus invades from Saxony, but is forced to withdraw when the Kingdom of Poland does not support him.


It is Bavaria which is the main foe. In 1741, Charles occupied Upper Austria, and he even crowns himself King of Bohemia in 1742. But Maria is backed by the Hungarian diet, and the army of Austria defeats Bavaria in Bohemia and occupies Bavaria, and at Detingen, Austro-British troops drive the French out of the Low Countries.


Frederick becomes anxious about the Sardinian and Saxon treaties with Austria, and declares war on Austria again in 1744. But he is incapable of properly supplying his troops, and thus many desert; he is driven out of Bohemia, and concludes a peace treaty whereby he retains Silesia in 1745.


In the Low Countries, the French are pretty much victorious. Nothing to see here, move along… but of course, they give up most of their conquests in the peace treaty.


And what of the Kingdom of Sicily? From 1740 it stands by Empress Theresa, and Charles Emmanuel, in person, leads his army for the Austrians, on the condition that the Grand Duchy of Tuscany passes to him when the Duke, husband of Maria Theresa, dies.  He forces the Duke of Modena to make a separate peace in 1742, and defeats the Spanish at the battle of Venetri. The next several years remain inconclusive, but in 1745 the Spanish and French form a grand plan to knock Sicily out of the war. A landing takes place, from Naples, in Sicily itself, while a French army marches into Savoy. The King defeats the French army in a hardfought battle outside of Genoa, and the Spanish fleet is intercepted at sea. 



When the King realizes the treachery of the Genoese, he besieges the city, and then, of course, takes it. He is forced to abandon plans to march into France itself because of threats of a French army in the Alps, but that never comes to pass.


The Treaty of Aix-De-Chapelle is signed in February of 1748, and ends the War of Austrian Succession. The terms are:

1)     The Kingdom of Sicily gains the territory of the Most Serene Republic of Genoa, or Genoa and Corsica [4].

2)     Silesia is confirmed with Prussia.

That’s honestly pretty much it; most territories are merely restored.


The War of Austrian Succession marks the emergence of two new major powers, the Kingdom of Sicily and the Kingdom of Prussia. They have much in common; a proud tradition of military professionalism, expansionist kings, and a mutual enemy in Austria and France.


Charles the Great


Charles has an ambitious expansionist policy; his ultimate goal is to secure Sicilian hegemony in Italy. This requires a great deal of money, and Charles ensures he has it. The Land Survey is extended into Tuscany in 1734; protective tariffs are established, industries are encouraged, as are methods to increase agricultural production. Roads are built all across the Kingdom, to speed up the movement of goods and soldiers.


Sicily begins an economic renaissance under Charles. It had always been important, but had never fulfilled its promise. But under the Savoyards, the island’s economy developed greatly, as the Savoyard troops brought order and stability.


By 1750, Torino was the capital of a rapidly developing kingdom, one of the three players in Italy. Which meant, of course, that the other two, France and Austria, would not be pleased.


The Seven Years War [5]


The Seven years war had many causes. Maria Theresa wanted Silesia back, and Tsarina Elizabeth was understandably anxious about the possibility of Prussia as a Great Power, and signed a treaty with the Tsarina. Secret articles stipulated the return of Silesia to Austria.


Meanwhile, Austria and France had come to a rapprochement. The Austrian diplomat, Kaunitz, convinces the King of France that Sicily and Prussia are two rising threats to their kingdom, and that it might be in their best interest to assault them


Meanwhile, Maria Theresa manages to convince King George II to sign a subsidy treaty with Russia, in an attempt to bring them into the Austro-British alliance, in 1755. But Britain and France then end up at war in North America, and George II, eager to protect his principality of Hannover, signed a treaty with Frederick II of Prussia. This alienates the Russians, and leads to the Diplomatic Revolution. The end of the revolution results in Sicily, Prussia, and the United Kingdom on the same side against a Russo-Austro-Franco alliance.


The French are not yet officially at war, but this does not stop them from sending a fleet to Mallorca, an island in the Baleares held by the British. They manage to take the island in a surprise attack, and it falls in the end of 1756.


Charles Emmanuel, aware of the buildup against him, marches first, and in 1756 launches an invasion of the Duchy of Lombardy. The Duke wins the battle of Bergamo against the Austrians, and takes Milan.


Frederick the Great, meanwhile, has invaded the Austrian ally of Saxony in August. With an army seventy thousand strong, he occupies Dresden, and defeats the Austrians at Pirna. The Saxons then surrender.


Maria Theresa declares war on Prussia and Sicily in the name of the Empire. However, Hannover, Hesse, Brunswick, and Gotha ally with Prussia. While Russia  and Austria conclude a treaty on how to partition Prussia, the Prussians are preparing for another offensive.


Frederick then invades, in February of 1757, Bohemia, and captures Prague in June, after winning a victory at the battle of Kolin. The Austrians won this battle historically, but here they have a twenty thousand man army crossing into Tyrol. A Russian army defeats the Prussians in East Prussia, but is forced to withdraw due to supply problems.


The French enter the war in a big way. Three armies are dispatched, one into Hannover, one towards Saxony, and the other into Savoy. Unfortunately, while the combined armies are greater than the army in Hannover in OTL, they are smaller when separated. At Hastenback, the Duke of Cumberland manages to push the French back across the Rhine. The second French army marches against Frederick, who smashes it at Rossbach in November.


The third French army  marches against King Charles. This is where Charles earns his name “The Great”; at the battle of Saluzzo, he utterly annihilates the French army. Charles then proceeds to march into Southern France, menacing the city of Toulon.  All in all, not a good year for the French and Austrians.


1758 sees more of the Russian hordes threatening Prussia. Ferdinand pushes the French across the Rhine, and marches into the Austrian Netherlands. In April, Frederick is in Moravia, where he besieges Olmutz.  He almost takes a city, but fails to do so, because a Prussian army is marching against his rear [6]. In Western Germany, Ferdinand of Brunswick drives the French across the Rhine again, but the Russians march across the Oder and threaten Berlin. At Zornfdorf, Frederick manages a costly victory, but in November he barely wins at the battle of Hochkins.


The French are then forced to march south, for Charles the Great has besieged Toulon. The city falls to him in June, but and he inflicts a strategic defeat on the French army at the battle of Toulon. In Milan,  Sicily’s army holds the Austrians at Brenner pass, the gateway into Lombardy.


The capture of Toulon dramatically alters French priorities; there is no possibility of a union of the French and Austrian armies; instead, France must repel an invasion from its own soil. The Battle of Bergen marks the end of French offensives in Germany for 1759, as Ferdinand utterly smashes their army in a pincer maneuver.  Charles manages to advance on Marseilles, but is defeated outside the city. The campaign in the south ends exactly as it began. The British end the war in Canada, and have captured Guadeloupe, as well.


In the East, things are a bit difficult for Fredierick. In 1760,at Liegnitz, he prevents an Austrian-Russian union, but the Russians still burn Berlin. The Russians occupy Kolberg, and the Austrians Schweidnitz. Charles is defeated in 1761 at Arles, but strategic maneuvering mitigates the defeat.


Ferdinand is busy in Germany as well. He smashes a French army at Kassel, and manages to advance across the Rhine [7]. The French are all but defeated. In desperation, they convince Spain to join the war, which does so in 1761.


George II dies, more or less on schedule. But he is not succeeded by George III. Frederick I becomes king of Britain, and he favors continuing the war to the bitter end.


This triggers “l’anno delle vittorie”, or the Year of Victories.  The British fleet sinks the Spanish fleet at sea in nearly every engagement; Havana, Martinique, and Florida fall between November of 1761 and November of 1762. Sicilian troops are ferried onto Spanish Sardinia, which is occupied.


Things are improving for Frederick in the East, as well. Contemplating suicide, surrounded by the Austrians and Russians, he receives word of the Czarina’s death. The new Czar, Peter II, is a bit insane. But he’s also admires Frederick, and signs a treaty with him, ceding all territory and giving him troops. He is executed in July, but his successor, Catherine II, remains neutral.


Her neutrality lets Frederick defeat the Austrians at Freiburg, and march into Bohemia once again. But negotiations are already taking place between France and Britain.


In 1763, France, Spain, Britain, and Sicily sign the treaty of Westminster. The treaty states that:


1)     Britain, under its King Frederick, imposes a harsh peace. The UK gains Pondicherry and Chandenargor in India; Spain cedes Florida to Britain, but receives New France from Spain.

2)     Spain cedes Sardinia to Sicily.


A short while later, Sicily, Austria, and Prussia sign the treaty of Salzburg. This treaty:

1)     Recognizes that Silesia is part of Prussia. In return, Prussia will vote for Joseph, Archduke of Austria, in the election for Emperor.

2)     The Prussians gain the Kingdom of Bohemia, although the Duchy of Moravia stays with the Hapsburgs. 

3)     Sicily gains the Duchy of Milan, in return for withdrawing from France.


Sicily and Prussia emerge from the war intact, and as major powers in Europe. The Kingdom of Sicily now has near-hegemony in Italy. Britain hegemony in India is assured. .


Summing it up


Charles’s next move is, in 1764, to declare that all unalienable ducal lands are ordinary lands; that is, they can be bought and sold. Over the next several years, unalienable lands are bought back from the nobles. In 1771, the land was then sold off, an opportunity grasped by free peasants in Sicily and Italy. The Bank of Sicily is established in 1772, and the bank helps to pay for Charles’s next declaration. Feudalism is abolished, and the nobles are given a one time payment in return.  Charles dies the next, year, and is succeeded by Victor Amadeus III.  It is Victor who establishes Sicily’s position, and earns it its “Poste Al Sole” [8].


The Partition of Poland… Oh, and Venice Too


“Firmian will receive a lengthy document with instructions in regard to our present situation, our engagements toward Russia, Prussia, and the Turks, but particularly in regard to this unfortunate partition of Poland, which is costing me ten years of my life. It will make plain the whole unhappy history of that affair. How many times have I refused to agree to it! But disaster after disaster heaped upon us… no hope of assistance either from France or England, and the prospect of being left isolated and threatened with a war with Russia, Sicily, and Prussia,-it was all these considerations that finally forced me to accede to that unhappy proposal, which will remain a blot on my whole reign. God grant that I be not held responsible for it in the other world… enough. I must stop writing about it at once, or I shall worry myself into the blackest melancholy....”-Maria Theresa, Memoirs


Meanwhile, the Czaress of all Russians is at war with the Turks, and a splendid little war it is. Her armies have smashed the Ottomans, and advanced across the Danube in 1770. In 1772, her fleet captures a citadel in Lebanon by a naval assault. And as the flee is sailing from the Baltic, it is indeed an impressive accomplishment. The Crimea is captured, and the Ottoman fortress of Bender falls. The Sultan is forced to make peace with her.


Now, Frederick the Great is not amused. This could lead to an Austrian-Russian war, and he would be forced to get involved. So would Victor, on the side against the Austrians. So Frederick offers a proposal. The three partition Poland, to balance things out. Pomerialia  and Ermeland go to Prussia, Galicia to Austria, and Latgale and Belarus go to Austria.


But Victor demands territory also, and in the end is satisfied. He gets permission to annex La Serenissima, or the Most Serene Republic of Venice. Veneto, Istria, and parts of Dalmatia pass to the Kingdom of Sicily. He treats the Venetians well, in fairness, and many are fairly content with his rule. But many lament the loss of the oldest republic in Christendom. Victor also annexes the Republic of Lucca, expanding his base in Italy. 


The 1770’s: The Best of Times, the Worst of Times


The 1770’s sees many events: the American Revolution, which more or less happens on schedule; but as this is based on Europe, I hope readers will forgive me for not repeating what they already know.


First there is the War of Bavarian Succession. This involves an Austrian attempt to gain part of Bavaria after the death of the last ruler of its line. Prussia, Saxony, and Sicily oppose it, in what is known as the “Potato War”, because the armies don’t’ actually fight, and only manage to eat the potatoes of the peasants. The war ends in 1779, one year ater it began, with minor gains for Bavaria.


In the 1770’s, Catherine, Empress of Russia, was moving closely towards her dream; the conquest of Greece. Her grandson, Constantine, had “Greek women given to him for nurses… he sucked in with his milk the Greek language, in which he  afterwards was perfected by learned Greek teachers; in short his whole education was such as to fit him for the throne of Constantinople”, according to the English ambassador. She dreamed of her son as sovereign of a grand Christian Empire comprising Wallachia, Moldavia, Athens, and Sparta. With her encouragement, the tribes of Epirus (think Albania) rose in revolt. Meanwhile, Catherine was busy in the Crimea Since the early 1770’s it had been an independent state; and when the Tatars [9] elected Devlet Ghirai as their ruler, the Russians marched an army against him. They then deposed him in favor of their own Khan. The Ottomans have no choice but to allow this.


Of course, a Russian puppet is not pleasing for Muslim Tatars, and he begs the Empress for protection. Another Russian army invades Crimea, and the rebels were slaughtered or expelled.  The Khan is forced to give his crown to the Empress, who in 1783 proclaims the annexation of Crimea by Russia.


Catherine then meets Joseph of Austria, in Kherson, along the Dnieper. They build an arc de triomphe which bears the inscription “The Road to Byzantium”, and they discuss the dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire.


Naturally, the Turks are provoked into declaring war, and this brands them as the aggressors in the eyes of Europe [10].


In 1788, Emperor Joseph launches an assault on Belgrade, which fails. Catherine also joined the war, as did Victor. But the Turks have an advantage, in the guise of the commander Hassan from Algiers.


Hassan had suppressed those revolts in the Morea, and given King Victor a bloody nose; he had restored the Sultan’s authority to Syria; and he had just subdued a rebellion against the Mamelukes in Egypt.  His goal is to regain the mouths of the Bug and Dnieper rivers. But he is confronted by Suvarow, a Russian general of amazing tactical acumen. With a small force of his own, he annihilated Hassan’s force. He also destroys Hassan’s fleet from a battery placed by the mouth of the Dnieper. That same year, he invested and captured Oczakov on the Dniester, and destroyed more Russian vessels at its mouth.  By the end of 1788, they had lost the war on their Eastern front.


Meanwhile, in the war against Austria, thing are faring much better for the Turks. Joseh’s army is slaughtered by the Turks, and the Turks capture much of his artillery. The next year, an experienced veteran gains control of the army, and he invades Bosnia and Serbia. Another force, led by the Prince of Coburg, links up with the Russians in Moldavia.


The Sicilians, meanwhile, take Crete and Cyprus. They have a navy;  a small one, of course, but its better than the Ottoman fleet at this point.


In 1789, Selim III ascends the throne. He issued a massive recruitment order, and summoned Hassan to serve as commander in chief of the army beyond the Danube. Hassan marches northward, and is beaten messily by Suvarow. Suvarow then defeats another army on the River Rivnik, and the Sultan appeases the people of Istanbul by executing Hassan.


The Empire might have been destroyed, but Victor died in 1790 and was succeeded by his son Maximillian, who was opposed to the war. Maximillian believed, rightfully, that the Kingdom could not gain enough, at least not yet, from the dismemberment of the Empire. He accepts peace, in 1790, for Crete, Cyprus, and Rhodes. The Venetians are thrilled, having seen their long lost commercial empire regained in a pen stroke.


1791 sees the Austirans drop out, with the cession of Bosnia. Russia advances into Bulgaria, and the Ottomans are forced to mediate. Prussia, England, and Sicily try to achieve a treaty between Russia and Turkey restoring all conferences.  The Russians refuse, and Pitt calls for war against Russia. Opponents to him declare that the English interests favor alliance with Russia, and question what England has to gain by “a strip of barren land along the northern shore of the Black Sea?”. Pitt’s motion is barely passed, but the Empress agrees to a peace. The Empress retains the retention of Ozcackov, and all lands to the Dniester.


But of course, this is all small potatoes compared to the revolting French.



The French Revolution


Since the Revolution in the USA went more or less on schedule, and the king of France is the same (not exactly; more liberal, but it doesn’t help him), we end up with a similar problem. The King calls the Estates-General. The Third Estate has 600 votes, clergy 300, nobles 300. The French minister says voting will be by order, not head; that is to say, that the votes of the nobles and clergy count for more. The Third Estate then forms the National Assembly, arguing that they are the nation of France.


The King, in May, disbands the Estates-General for three days. The National Assembly meets on a tennis court, and agrees not to disband until France has a constitution. Tensions flare, the king is forced to give in to the Assembly. But he stations troops near the Bastille, in Paris, leading to a violent insurrection [11].


Now, rumors begins spreading that peasants are being held unjustly in the Bastille, and a mob attacks it on July 15.  The Parisians set up a commune, with a flag containing blue and red for Paris, and white for France. The peasants then rise up across the Kingdom. In August, feudalism is abolished, and the Declaration of the Rights of Man is issued.


The National Assembly then debates the new constitution. It establishes a constitutional monarchy, but fails horribly on the fiscal front. Inflation rises, and the government places the Church’s lands under its control The Pope denounces it, of course.


1790 is but the calm before the storm. In 1791, workers cooperatives are disbanded; the King tries to flee north, but is caught. The Prussians, Savoys, and Austrians agree to intervene only with the consent of all powers.  France gets a constitution, and the assembly promises to hold elections.


But poor harvests lead to unrest in Paris, and the new assembly becomes divided between radicals, the Girondists, and more moderate members, such as the Plain.


Of course, the Savoys, Austrians, and Prussians are none too thrilled with this. They could tolerate a constitutional monarchy, but this is something else. The Austrians warn the French to restore power to their King; the French declare war in April, and the Prussians join them. The Kingdom of Sicily does so as well. Maximillian is trying to gain hegemony over Italy not just militarily and politically, but morally.


The French are a joke at first. Sicilian soldiers reach Toulon, and French soldiers flee from the sight of Austrian scouts. But the Prussian defeat at Valmy gives heart to the French. At Jemappes, several thousand French forces capture Brussels. And the French push the Sicilians back to Toulon.


Of course, the French view all of this as the fault of their King, and execute him. (He was also trying to escape). The Republic then declares war on Great Britain, Spain, and the Netherlands by March 4.


The going is slower in TTL, because the French face most of Italy as well. In fact, Maximillian’s general Guiseppe Bounaparte is declared “The Defender of Italy” by the Pope, for his actions at Toulon, and Maximillian convinces the Pope to give him control of the Papacy’s revenues and army [11].


The French raise an army of 180,000 in 1793, and show complete willingness to use it. The Republic, on the excuse that it’s a state of emergency, raises another 450,000. The first army, under General Dumoirez invades Holland. He is opposed by the Austrian General Coburg, who drives his forces from Cologne. He’s defeated, lacking massive numerical superiority, and defects to the Austrian cause.


The powers propose the partition of France, and Coburg might have marched on Paris. But the powers disagree in regards to what to do. The Sicilians support uprisings in Lyonnais, Marseilles, and Vendee; but the French manage to drive the Austrians out of the Netherlands at the battle of Fleurus. After Fleurus, the war calms down in the Low Countries, and the temporary Peace of Basle is signed in 1795. The revolt in Vendee collapses, and the Sicilians are driven back to Toulone, with a narrow strip along the coast, and make peace, retaining Toulon, on the basis that they will not harbor French émigrés. The French then suppress the revolts in Vendee and Lyons, and consolidate their hegemony over the Netherlands, installing a puppet republic.


The peace lasts about as long as you’d expect. In January of 1796, the Republic declares war, with a two fold aim:


1)     Invade Germany.

2)     Crush Sicily.


The war in Italy is, to put it bluntly, a disaster. The French are able to drive the Sicilians out of Toulon, but Guiseppe Bounaparte stages a series of lightning attacks. At Toulon, for example, he captures six thousand French and kills several hundred others. The French army for the invasion of Italy is only 30,000; there are 50,000 other soldiers in the Army of Italy, but they are on coastal defense in France.


When faced with a  40,000 strong Sicilian army, the results are about what you’d expect. Guiseppe Bounaparte shows the French that he may be a Corsican, but he is the product of the finest military in Europe. The French troops are poorly fed and supplied, and at the battle of Grenoble, Guiseppe defeats the numerically superior French force, by smashing the right flank in a charge he leads personally. This effectively brings an end to, for now, Revolutionary invasions of Italy [13]. There are one or two minor invasions, but Guiseppe deals with them.  Riding the waves of this victory, Maximillian occupies the Kingdom of Naples, ruled by Bourbons (related to those of Spain). He creates the Italian League, dedicated to preserving the freedom of Italy. It is dominated by Sicily, of course, but one can’t have everything.




Things fare equally poor for the Republic in Germany. Another massive, starving army invades Germany, and its soldiers are told that they would find sustenance across the Rhine. France wanted to free the serfs, and destroy the princes, and what better place to start than Germany?

The Army of the Rhine marches in April, and defeats the Austrian in Mainz.  General Moreau invades Southern Germany, and General Louis Northern. Moreau is able to cross into Strassburg easily, but the Austrians force Louis back across the river. But when the Austrians turn against Moreau, Louis marches against the Austrians as well. The Austrians fall back toward the Danube (an impressive feat, given the distance), and raise another army, of 34,000 strong. The Austrians can now field a force almost equal in size to the Republic.  The General finally defeats Louis at Wuzburg and Amberg, ending the threat of joining the two armies, in 1797.


Hence, in 1798, the French do not appear invincible. Moreover, Guiseppe is leading Sicily in a reform of its army, to combat the French. The Italians too shall become a nation in arms. Where the French flock to calls for the Revolution, the Italians flock to the banner of the Roman Empire.  The Austrians lose the Austrian Netherlands, and the French gain the left bank of the Rhine, but they raise additional men as well.  The stage is set for the second coalition.


The Directorate in France decides to attack all of its enemies at once; Moreau invades Switzerland, Louis Germany, and Massena marches on Italy. Moreau reaches Zurich, but then the Austrians begin pushing him back. The French are pushed out of Zurich, and the invasion of Italy is smashed at the battle of Nice. By December, the Austrians, Russians, and Sicilians have halted the French advance. The Archduke Charles prepares for an invasion across the Rhine, but he is forced to pull back when  Louis threatens his flank. Russia withdraws from the war when the Anglo-Russian invasion of the Low Countries fails.


The French are reeling. Attempts to raise more men fail miserably; when they draft ten thousand men for the army of Italy, three hundred show up. In OTL Napoleon, who was always victorious, took over. Here, Louis tries to do so, and becomes the First Consul. The other consul is Moreau, and the third consul is *Sieyes, a French constitutinalist.


Thus 1800 dawns with the Sicilians in Italy and Southern France, the Austrians on the Rhine, but the Russians out of the war. The French invade Italy, and reach the walls of Genoa, but are finally repulsed. Guiseppe holds them at the Riviera, where he leads a personal  counterattack. Moreau, however, crosses the Upper Rhine. With an assault on the Austrians at Stockach, he sends their army reeling in disarray, back towards the heartland of Germany.  In December, Moreau delivers the coup de grace, because as Austrian columns slog through the rain, The Revolutionary Army attacks the columns individually, capturing several thousand Austrians.


The Peace of Bologna


The Empire of Austria is forced to agree to an armistice in early 1801, and King Maximillian does as well. The three kingdoms sign the Treaty of Bologna on a rainy morning in February, of 1801. Under the terms:


1)     Sicily is recognized as the Kingdom of Italy, inheriting the lands of the Kingdom of Naples, Modena, and the Papacy.

2)     The Austrians lose Belgium to the French.

3)     The Rhine Princes are to be compensated for the French annexation of all lands to the Rhine.

The Consulate views this as a wise strategy; for they have gained valuable time to rebuild the armies. Poor *Sieyes is found dead several days after the news of the treaty, supposedly by royalists.  France signs a *Peace of Amiens with Britain, and the results are more or less the same. France gets Louisiana, and sells it to the USA; the British grab Malta.


There is no Continental System; the Consulate is in nowhere near as dominant a position as in OTL. All in all, 1805 is shaping up to be an interesting year.


The Last Coalition


“He who makes war for National independence must be enabled to count upon the union of all resources, all the wishes, and the concurrence of all the National authorities.” –Guiseppe Bounaparte


But the Consulate soon goes to war with Britain cone again, and Britain is aware that it cannot win alone.  The Third Coalition is formed, consisting of Austria, Russia, and the new Kingdom of Italy, with their leader, Britain.


The Republic’s armies are encamped in Bolougne, in preparation for an invasion of England. While the army is there, the allies will strike.


The problem is that Moreau is well aware of this, and leads the Grande Armee across the Rhine, and then the Danube. He captures an Austrian army by takings its supply lines, knocking forty thousand Austrians out of the war.


Austria may have still had a chance, along with Russia, but upon news of the defeat, Guiseppe’s army was ordered to march into the Adriatic region of the Hapsburg domains. It rapidly secures what are declared the “Illyrian Provinces”. Moreau occupies Vienna, and wins a bloody victory at Austerlitz. But they cannot follow it take Vienna; Guiseppe’s men save Vienna and Tyrol  [14].


This leads to the Fourth Coalition; Austria sits on the sidelines, but Prussia, Britain, and Russia join it, in 1806. The Prussians do not face a surprise attack in October. They still lose in Berges, losing 25,000 men to 10,000 French, but Berlin is not captured in 1806.

In the south, the Italians have invaded France, again. To the cry of King Maximillian’s speech, “Romans, segue Cesare” (Romans, follow Caesar), Italian troops cross into France, again. By this point many are growing tired of the Republic, and the Battle of Arles is a resounding Italian victory in November.


1807 opens with more campaigns by the Consulate. The Prussians lose at the Battle of Jena in April, and Berlin is occupied. Moreau marches into Poland, and takes Warsaw; and faces the Russians at Friedland, where the Russians defeat a French army, inflicting 25,000 casualties for their ten thousand. This marks the tide of the war.  Another armistice is signed in Warsaw, on the following basis:


1)     Silesia passes to Austria, in exchange for the Italian province of Illyria.

2)       East Prussia goes to Russia.

3)       The Rhineland and Luxembourg are merged into the Republic of the Rhine, in combination  with the Confederation of the Rhine.

4)       Both sides agree to peace for two years.

5)       Saxony gains South Prussia.



The End of the Republic


Now the Consulate is in peril. The destruction of Prussia is portrayed as a victory, but the fact remains that  Guiseppe has continually invaded southern France. Attempts to inspire revolution have failed, because the Italians have no desire to be puppet states of a Republic.  


Saxony joins the new Coalition, along with Russia. The Hozzerellans remain neutral, but Austria joins the fray, and reforms its army. Saxony joins the war, and is able to field eleven thousand men.


Archduke Charles invades Bavaria, and strikes at the French general Bearnhais, who is clearly out of his league. Munich is occupied, and forty thousand Frenchmen desert. The Italians invade Southern France; but this time they raise a massive revolt by promising to restore the king. At the battle of Tours, the Italians secure the southern half of French. Saxon troops overrun the Rhineland, and the Kingdom of Bavaria.


By 1810, the Allies are closing in on Paris.  The Battle of Champagne is a decisive Austrian victory, and the Italians are marching from the South. The Consulate surrenders on May 4, 1810, and the victorious nations meet at the Congress of Florence.


The Congress of Florence


Representatives from the victorious nations: Saxony, Austria, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the Kingdom of Italy. Prussia is present as well, but as a very minor player.


The goal is to contain France, and to give each nation a “reward”, of a kind, for the years of warfare. The Holy Roman Empire is secularized into the German Confederation, which Austria is the nominal leader of. The Kingdom of Belgium is established, with a Hapsburg on the throne; no reason to give it to the Dutch in TTL, after all. The Republic of Warsaw is transferred to Russia in the guise of the Duchy of Poland, of which the Czar is Duke. Silesia retains part of Austria. England receives Singapore, the Cape Colonies, all of India, Malta, and Heliogoland. The British royal land separates; the Kingdom of Hanover goes to a brother of George IV, Wilhelm; it incorporates the Republic of Westphalia.


Italy, of course, retains its rule over the peninsula, the Illyrian provinces, and one other item. In 1806, the British developed a daring plan to seize Spanish Latin America.  Ten thousand British soldiers, and eleven thousand Italian take part. The operation, in OTL a new-run thing, is a success, and The Kingdom of Italy inherits the Viceroyalty of La Plata.


Thus, in 1812, The Savoys can look back on a century of success. They have brought their dynasty from a duchy in the mountains to the Kingdom of Italy, with the support of the Pope. They crushed the revolutionaries, and defeated the Turk.





[1]  Another suggestion was merely removing an influential Spanish advisor from play; he’s the one who supported the marriage. To be honest, I think that this could be a viable POD on its own. 


[2] For those who are interested, these edicts did actually happen.


[3] Did I ever mention how absurd this time period was?


[4] Is anyone else thinking what I’m thinking? I normally don’t like including persons born after the POD, but…


[5] Probably the last 18th century war to remain relatively the same.


[6] As it was the Russians, not Austrians, who had him withdraw, no change form OTL.


[7] The Allied armies were this good. Ferdinand is the man who won the war for Britain, not the Americans.


[8] Place in the sun.


[9] Crimeans living there.


[10] This was a concern for Catherine, and managed to make herself look like the savior of civilization. Voltaire viewed Catherine against the Turks as reason against Fanaticism, and civilization versus backwardness.


[11] When you’re faced with an army outside of Rome, and the possibility of the Godless revolutionaries capturing you, it’s the most likely outcome.


[12] This is all an oversimplification, but for the sake of brevity, I’m only giving an overview.


[13] Napoleon’s conquest was done by an army that was not paid and not supplied. They proceeded to sack Lombardy to take care of themselves, but here they haven’t even gotten that far.


[14] I’m not even giving the Italians a general of Napoleon’s caliber; the defeats inflicted against the other nations of Europe were because of French numerical superiority. Here, that’s not the case; the allies have slight numerical inferiority, but the Italians are raising tens of thousands, especially in the southern