Meh, it's a decrepit medieval city built on pilgrim money. I doubt anyone would really care, since the Muslims won't raze the place or anything. It's a holy site for Muslims too.
I took it to mean that Theodor will likely prefer to destroy both empires in one fell swoop with the most massive army he can possibly muster rather than take a humiliating peace once the campaign becomes unwinnable.Looks like the noose is tightening around Ibrahim’s neck.
But how many men will be needed for this “grand gesture” to bring Theodor to the peace table? Is Demetrios considering committing more men to push further into Europe at the cost of not smashing the Ottomans?
Rome's enemies are also constantly on the warpath, while Rome is considerably more war-averse, at least in continental Europe. I can't help but think that the most innovative Roman commanders are currently running around in the Far East.
The run of good-to-excellent non-Roman generals continues. Add Turgut Reis and Sinan Pasha to the list of von Mackensen, Vauban, Casimir, the Archbishop, etc. What is Rome doing wrong that they can't churn out generals as good as the ones facing them? Does the Roman School of War/General Staff need a total revamp? Rome's enemies are obviously doing something right when selecting/training their leaders. What's the "secret sauce" and how does Rome catch up once this war ends?
That seems very likely. Perhaps the Roman military would benefit from more limited military interventions abroad, perhaps by rotating units in their colonial possessions and in and out of troubled frontiers to keep the rust from building up. It certainly seems that the Roman attitude in the coming generations is likely to be a bit more aggressive with the new emphasis on "steel over gold" in terms of their interactions with the West so perhaps this will change in time.Both of the Ottoman commanders mentioned in the update learned their ropes in India, and did so in an army that has essentially been on the march non-stop since the time of Ibrahim's father's campaigns. Roman armies tend to dedicate their efforts to defensive maneuvering -- and defending requires a lot less innovation and adaptability when you have stout fortresses and deep supply lines.
I also think that it's consistent with pre-Byzantine Roman history as well: as Rome ceased offensive operations and the sort of probing campaigns that really strain commanders' abilities, as their armies became garrisons with offensive capabilities essentially, the quality of its subordinates gravitated towards a stable baseline of "competent but corseted by tradition, inertia and risk aversion".
Notably, every time Rome is shocked out of this complacent security in its borders, as its commanders are forced to adapt or die as their supplies are cut-off or they're forced to pursue their enemies, new subordinates rise to the top as they demonstrate their abilities. Rome's commanders seem to go through a pretty consistent pattern of desperate adaptation, brilliant innovation, then prolonged stagnation.
Though I do agree that something needs to be done in the training of junior officers. It may just be a problem of not having enough qualified candidates due to the rapid expansion of the military but it seems that the Roman military machine would benefit greatly from an expansion to their officer training school, and perhaps a change is necessary in the school's curriculum.
EDIT: I think Demetrios, the Megas Domestikos and the two main Strategoi will look back on the army's performance, and may come across some previous reports documenting the very problem I mention above (the predictable cycle of stagnation precipitating a dramatic correction), and the Schools of War may be the next thing to be reformed by Demetrios III.