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An Age of Miracles Continues: The Empire of Rhomania

But Ibrahim’s not stupid. Would he be doing this if his eastern front wasn’t at least reasonably secure?
Theodoros could turn east, but that is less appealing with the collapse of the Great Lordship. Even if he managed to retake Manbij and Maskanah, it wouldn’t be enough now to cut Ibrahim’s supply line. There would still be the huge Ottoman citadel at Ar-Raqqah and another not quite as large but still formidable opposite Dayr az Zawr. And such a long thrust to the east would expose his own supply line from attack by Ibrahim. Plus there is another army forming in Amida to deal with that theater. So he elects to look south.
Seems like there are a significant amount of Ottoman troops tied down garrisoning the Indian Frontier. Would be a shame for Ibrahim if the army forming in Amida is successful. Tied down in Syria with a bigger army but no way out, with the Romans setting fire to Mesopotamia.
 
Ibrahim is certainly ambitious and seems to have inherited a good deal of his father's intelligence and military capability, if not the outright genius. But it looks like he needs to get a decisive victory fast. With the second army amassing at Amida, he risks being caught between two forces again, and this time one of them won't be second rate Egyptian and Ethiopian troops with inadequate cavalry. If he is forced to attack, the roles will be reversed and he might have to attack into prepared defenses by the Romans.

On the other hand, the Allies are getting closer and closer to Constantinople. If Ibrahim can avoid defeat long enough, the Roman high command might get cold feet and transfer the second army back west to defend the capital. That could certainly open a window to achieve a decisive victory for him.
 
The Egyptians are truly the butt monkeys of the Roman Empire. They avoid Roman retribution during the ToT only because of Doukid machinations. Then they get humiliated during the Great Uprising, now they get smashed by Ibrahim. Once the Ottomans are repulsed, I reckon it's only a matter of time before they're re-integrated proper. Sicily shouldn't have objections because it looks like they'll win big time against the Lombards and be strengthened.
I agree after this war they shoudl be reinetrgated into the emprie because they are obviously not up to the job
 
I agree after this war they shoudl be reinetrgated into the emprie because they are obviously not up to the job
It kinda defeats the purpose of having the Despotate in the first place. It places a local government between Constantinople and the masses. When the masses get discontent they can, and do, appeal to Constantinople as a source for superior justice. It directs dislike of a foreign ruler to Alexandria, and paints Constantinople as benevolent even though it is an organization Constantinople was behind. What matters is that Egypt remain relatively peaceful, keeps producing grain, and keeps the trade flowing. Anything else is secondary.
 
Ibrahim is certainly ambitious and seems to have inherited a good deal of his father's intelligence and military capability, if not the outright genius. But it looks like he needs to get a decisive victory fast. With the second army amassing at Amida, he risks being caught between two forces again, and this time one of them won't be second rate Egyptian and Ethiopian troops with inadequate cavalry. If he is forced to attack, the roles will be reversed and he might have to attack into prepared defenses by the Romans.

On the other hand, the Allies are getting closer and closer to Constantinople. If Ibrahim can avoid defeat long enough, the Roman high command might get cold feet and transfer the second army back west to defend the capital. That could certainly open a window to achieve a decisive victory for him.

He's good no doubt, but the fact remains that in straightforward battle where he had slight numerical superiority (85,000 men to 81,000) he suffered about 27,000 casualties to 15,000. That's about as bloody as Waterloo was... for the French. Counting the first day he's lost 32,000 men slightly over a third his combined army and is slightly inferior in numbers (58,000 to 66,000) to the imperial army alone, never-mind another 20,000 African troops when the latter reform.
 
He's good no doubt, but the fact remains that in straightforward battle where he had slight numerical superiority (85,000 men to 81,000) he suffered about 27,000 casualties to 15,000. That's about as bloody as Waterloo was... for the French. Counting the first day he's lost 32,000 men slightly over a third his combined army and is slightly inferior in numbers (58,000 to 66,000) to the imperial army alone, never-mind another 20,000 African troops when the latter reform.

Yeah, as a battlefield commander he might not be the best, especially compared to his father (though still more capable than most). But I was more referring to the overall strategic plan, which in my mind seems very solid. Securing tribal support and eliminating Roman tribal vassals. Only securing the vital fortresses and the important roads and thus supply networks. Bypassing the strong but ultimately unimportant Aleppo fortifications. Eliminating the Egyptian+Ethiopian forces just in time. Avoiding the trap of interior Anatolia.

In the end it will likely still not be enough. For his plan to work he relied on more Roman troops being tied up in the west. It was a gamble of course but better odds to hurt the Romans decisively will probably not arise anytime soon for the Persians, so I can see why he took it. And despite being outnumbered now he is still a major thorn in the Roman's side. Depending on how urgently they need to shift focus to Thrace, they will have to seek battle on Ibrahim's terms if they want to force an early peace. I suspect it will be a very bloody affair.
 
What is the situation on the Persians' eastern frontier? Surely their rivals in the East will jump at the chance to attack them while their attention is fixed on the Romans in the West. Especially now that the Sultan's plan for a quick campaign has been broken.
 
By gathering together the bulk of his forces, including fresh levies from Mesopotamia, Arab riders, and new Syrian recruits, Ibrahim musters about 90000 in his main host.

The first twenty minutes are the worst, the Ottomans taking at least nine thousand casualties in that period alone. The 16th Mazandaran Orta had 731 of its 903 men as casualties, at least 500 of them taken in the first half hour.

I'd be very curious to find out where exactly Ibrahim's casualties are concentrated. If he's losing too many of his experienced soldiers then that puts him in a precarious position, how will all those raw levies react if the situation takes a turn for the worse?
With the army amassing in Amida it doesn't look like reinforcements will be coming. The Egyptians/Ethiopians should be putting more men into the fray, this is an existential battle for them.
 
I'd be very curious to find out where exactly Ibrahim's casualties are concentrated. If he's losing too many of his experienced soldiers then that puts him in a precarious position, how will all those raw levies react if the situation takes a turn for the worse?
With the army amassing in Amida it doesn't look like reinforcements will be coming. The Egyptians/Ethiopians should be putting more men into the fray, this is an existential battle for them.
Most of those casualties were from the pitched battle, so they must've been among the professional Ottoman soldiers. Tribal levies and peasant conscripts won't be drilled enough to fire more than 1 shot per minute, and they'll trigger a rout if put on the front.

I think the Ottomans are going to lose the war on attrition alone. The Muslim rebels in the Levant won't be of much use outside of looting the countryside.
 
Most of those casualties were from the pitched battle, so they must've been among the professional Ottoman soldiers. Tribal levies and peasant conscripts won't be drilled enough to fire more than 1 shot per minute, and they'll trigger a rout if put on the front.

I think the Ottomans are going to lose the war on attrition alone. The Muslim rebels in the Levant won't be of much use outside of looting the countryside.

And boy will it be hard for to hold those ill gotten goods with severed hands. It was mentioned before, but this round of the endless struggle is going to be one of messages. Like the one to the Levant, don't like it here? Then you are outta here, by hook or by crook. Imagine the headache that many refugees hitting Persia would cause, then again that is a lot of future enemies settling with the enemy. Those that survive. And a message to the Ottomans about their opportunism. Rhome could at the very least get back it's eastern forts before the last hard treaty.

I hope Ibrahim gets captured, and somehow gets beheaded with Timur's blade, or Shah Ruk's, or better, 'David', or maybe Suliman's! Perhaps... for a guy who will probably will be the first adult Emperor that will never lead an army, Demetrios owns a lot of swords. Again, EUIV-cool
 
And boy will it be hard for to hold those ill gotten goods with severed hands. It was mentioned before, but this round of the endless struggle is going to be one of messages. Like the one to the Levant, don't like it here? Then you are outta here, by hook or by crook. Imagine the headache that many refugees hitting Persia would cause, then again that is a lot of future enemies settling with the enemy. Those that survive. And a message to the Ottomans about their opportunism. Rhome could at the very least get back it's eastern forts before the last hard treaty.
Only if the refugees can procreate. I think this war will set the stage for the very first modern international accord on the Laws of War.
 
Yeah, as a battlefield commander he might not be the best, especially compared to his father (though still more capable than most). But I was more referring to the overall strategic plan, which in my mind seems very solid. Securing tribal support and eliminating Roman tribal vassals. Only securing the vital fortresses and the important roads and thus supply networks. Bypassing the strong but ultimately unimportant Aleppo fortifications. Eliminating the Egyptian+Ethiopian forces just in time. Avoiding the trap of interior Anatolia.

In the end it will likely still not be enough. For his plan to work he relied on more Roman troops being tied up in the west. It was a gamble of course but better odds to hurt the Romans decisively will probably not arise anytime soon for the Persians, so I can see why he took it. And despite being outnumbered now he is still a major thorn in the Roman's side. Depending on how urgently they need to shift focus to Thrace, they will have to seek battle on Ibrahim's terms if they want to force an early peace. I suspect it will be a very bloody affair.

I think Ibrahim did not gamble, more or less calculated risk. He probably knew around 90,000 Romans(when Mouzalon was fighting Blucher in Serbia) the time German/Triune diplomats convince Ibrahim to join the fray. 90-100k is common knowledge by everyone at that time what the Romans could put in the field. No one knew at that time the Romans could put 250k in the field within one year, nor manage multiple fronts simultaneously.

From what I can deduce from Ibrahim, being a very cautious leader, had he known the full capabilities of the Roman Empire, he wouldnt have risked attacking Rome.

It will be bloody but I suspect in favor of the Romans due to Roman opponents underestimating Rome's capabilities. Nor do I think the Romans need to hasten the peace due to the Romans need more time to put more troops in the field which will lead to outnumbering both major opponents. While for Germans and Ottomans, realizing their lower numbers and sustainability to continue the war, needs to finish the war fast.

The commander quality for Ottomans isnt like during the time of Iskander wherein Iskander was vastly superior than any Roman general. Both Laskarids seems to be above average generals, better than whatever the Romans had vs Iskander, while Ibrahim although competent, isnt on Iskanders level.
 
However in a critical failure that can be explained by the one responsible looking at a map but not realizing the terrain, the only road out of Aqaba goes through the Wadi Itm. The Wadi Itm is a twenty-five mile gorge, overlooked by sheer cliff faces and winding in course, with side ravines and boulder masses spewed about the Wadi floor, at certain points so narrow that only two camels can pass abreast.

The Ethiopians march up into the Wadi, which is normally covered by a small Owais outpost, but the defenders there were driven off earlier and the Arabs now cover the Wadi. Ambushes are incessant, coming from all sides, and to increase the Ethiopians’ misery, there is no water in the Wadi, although the Arabs in the side ravines have plenty. The lack of Ethiopian cavalry (unlike the Romans, the Ethiopians lack dedicated horse transports) is only the icing on the cake. Hammered relentlessly and desperately thirsty, the Ethiopians are forced to fall back to Aqaba, harassed from the hills by Arab snipers, although fortunately for the Ethiopians their foes lack artillery.

Also curious why there isn't a more direct (and much wider) route from Aqaba to Beersheba already, albeit through the desert. Is the hospitaller fort in Kerak still holding up well? Or is the Jordan River the only thing between raiders and Jerusalem now?
 
It will be bloody but I suspect in favor of the Romans due to Roman opponents underestimating Rome's capabilities. Nor do I think the Romans need to hasten the peace due to the Romans need more time to put more troops in the field which will lead to outnumbering both major opponents. While for Germans and Ottomans, realizing their lower numbers and sustainability to continue the war, needs to finish the war fast.

One big thing in favour of the Romans is that there shouldn't be anymore big surprises against them. The Lombards, Latin Allies, and Ottomans have already committed everything against them. All the uncommitted parties East or West are more likely to pitch into the Empire's enemies. Provided they can deal with the big, scary armies in Syria and Bulgaria/Thrace they are in a good position.

The situation in far east Asia is another problem, the Triunes and Spanish have caught up massively to the Romans but I don't think they can match them yet. However, if the Triunes move their Atlantic fleets over to Asia then that might be enough.
 
The situation in far east Asia is another problem, the Triunes and Spanish have caught up massively to the Romans but I don't think they can match them yet. However, if the Triunes move their Atlantic fleets over to Asia then that might be enough.

I hope moving the fleet east won't happen, as it never did OTL with British and French. Biggest battles in India numbered only a few ships of the line.

However, lack of bases makes Imperial Fleet less dangerous to Triunes, so a stronger effort might be possible? I'm not sure how much did logistic difficulties partake in deployments of fleets to the east.

Regarding the war in Syria, exposedness of Syria clearly demonstrates the value of lost fortress belt. Coast which holds most of the Romanised population does not have any strategic depth or suitable chokepoints, desert and forts are necessary to stop even minor raids.
 
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It kinda defeats the purpose of having the Despotate in the first place. It places a local government between Constantinople and the masses. When the masses get discontent they can, and do, appeal to Constantinople as a source for superior justice. It directs dislike of a foreign ruler to Alexandria, and paints Constantinople as benevolent even though it is an organization Constantinople was behind. What matters is that Egypt remain relatively peaceful, keeps producing grain, and keeps the trade flowing. Anything else is secondary.

That's all very nice, until that Egyptian army isn't marching to help Romans but to join forces with the Persians. Age of pragmatism is coming and it's not unthinkable that an ambitious coptic despot allies with the Persion infidel (or German/Triune catholic) to break free from Roman domination.

Egypt is a vassal state, and one which isn't bound to Rome by common culture, language or religion, but by Roman military supremacy and fear of its Muslim population.

Autonomy (cultural and legal) for despotate is fine, but there should not be an Egyptian army. Despotate shoud provide funds and manpower, but its soldiers should be integrated and dispersed through Imperial army (which is professional and unlike thematic army should have no problem sending copts to man the Balkan frontier or some other distant front). Habsburgs did it for centuries, it's not complicated.

In any case, I think despotates should be reintegrated and Romanised if they are to be kept in Imperial orbit indefinetely.
 
I wonder if his caution is what is going to tie his hands and force him into an unwinable situation. Ibrahim is not his father as been stated and does not know the trick to overcome that. He is brave and knows what it is to lead men, but Xenophon can tell you it is a lot more to get them back out trouble you cant beat.
 
As always, an excelent update Basileus! But I have one objection. Why would the Ethiopians land in Acaba? It would made much more sense to land in the lands of the Sharif of Hedjaz and force the Arabs to withdraw from the Syrian front. After all, the Ethiopians have done this in the past with significant success.
Besides, another good strategy would be to raid the Ottoman Persian Gulf ports. And an even bolder move would be to land Indian and Ethiopian forces in Basra. Then Ibrahim would have to either turn back to defend one of his best ports or dispatch a significant force, thus weakening his army in Syria.
What is sthe current status of the Ethiopian army and navy?
 
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