The Mare Nostrum doctrine: an alternate Italian Empire

The Mediterranean Sea. Once, the thriving hurb of trade. Whoever controlled the Mediterranean controlled trade with the entire world. The term "Mare Nostrum" was born with the Romans who, starting from their small city in Italy, would later conquer much of the known world, and dominate the Mediterranean. With the fall of the Roman empire, many nations claimed to have gained full controll of this ancient sea. However it would be one nation that would finally take controll of this ancient home of civilization.

It would not be in Rome that the beginning of the dominance of the Mediterranean would begin. But Rome shall become the capital of the nation which will dominate the sea.

Sardinia-Piedmont is a small Italian nation, seemingly not much different than its brothers in the Italian peninsula. But it has a dream: the unification of the Italian people under one banner. But it also has another dream, seemingly impossible at the time, but still a dream intent to realize: to return the Mediterranean in the state of Mare Nostrum.

Hello folks! Here with another alternate history timeline. It is based on the playthrough of this fine gentleman, TakkieSenpai on youtube.

Here's the link for the first episode.


It is also based, funny enough, on my very first post on Alternate History, AKA "Italy gets part of Saudi Arabia and Dalmatia". It was a fun little discussion and, at the time, I didn't have any ideas regarding posting alternate history. Well look at me now!

In the meantime, I hope you guys like this new update! Be sure to like(if you like it), comment(please comment so I can learn what your opinion is) and.....follow I guess.
 
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Capitulum I: The Italian Peninsula in 1836
Capitulum I: The Italian Peninsula in 1836

Italy was unified by Rome in the third century BC. For 700 years, it was a de facto territorial extension of the capital of the Roman Republic and Empire, and for a long time experienced a privileged status but was not converted into a province.

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Italy remained united under the Ostrogothic Kingdom and later disputed between the Kingdom of the Lombards and the Byzantine (Eastern Roman) Empire. Following conquest by the Frankish Empire, the title of King of Italy merged with the office of Holy Roman Emperor. However, the emperor was an absentee German-speaking foreigner who had little concern for the governance of Italy as a state; as a result, Italy gradually developed into a system of city-states. Southern Italy, however, was governed by the long-lasting Kingdom of Sicily or Kingdom of Naples, which had been established by the Normans. Central Italy was governed by the Pope as a temporal kingdom known as the Papal States.

This situation persisted through the Renaissance but began to deteriorate with the rise of modern nation-states in the early modern period. Italy, including the Papal States, then became the site of proxy wars between the major powers, notably the Holy Roman Empire (including Austria), Spain, and France.

Harbingers of national unity appeared in the treaty of the Italic League, in 1454, and the 15th-century foreign policy of Cosimo De Medici and Lorenzo De Medici. Leading Renaissance Italian writers Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio, Machiavelli and Guicciardini expressed opposition to foreign domination. Petrarch stated that the "ancient valour in Italian hearts is not yet dead" in Italia Mia. Machiavelli later quoted four verses from Italia Mia in The Prince, which looked forward to a political leader who would unite Italy "to free her from the barbarians".

The Peace of Westphalia in 1648 formally ended the rule of the Holy Roman Emperors in Italy. However, the Spanish branch of the Habsburg dynasty, another branch of which provided the Emperors, continued to rule most of Italy down to the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–14).

A sense of Italian national identity was reflected in Gian Rinaldo Carli's Della Patria degli Italiani, written in 1764. It told how a stranger entered a café in Milan and puzzled its occupants by saying that he was neither a foreigner nor a Milanese. "'Then what are you?' they asked. 'I am an Italian,' he explained."

The Habsburg rule in Italy came to an end with the campaigns of the French Revolutionaries in 1792–97, when a series of client republics were set up. In 1806, the Holy Roman Empire was dissolved by the last emperor, Francis II, after its defeat by Napoleon at the Battle of Austerlitz. The Italian campaigns of the French Revolutionary Wars destroyed the old structures of feudalism in Italy and introduced modern ideas and efficient legal authority; it provided much of the intellectual force and social capital that fueled unification movements for decades after it collapsed in 1814. The French Republic spread republican principles, and the institutions of republican governments promoted citizenship over the rule of the Bourbons and Habsburgs and other dynasties. The reaction against any outside control challenged Napoleon Bonaparte's choice of rulers. As Napoleon's reign began to fail, the rulers he had installed tried to keep their thrones (among them Eugène de Beauharnais, viceroy of Italy, and Joachim Murat, king of Naples) further feeding nationalistic sentiments. Beauharnais tried to get Austrian approval for his succession to the new Kingdom of Italy, and on 30 March 1815, Murat issued the Rimini Proclamation, which called on Italians to revolt against their Austrian occupiers.

After Napoleon fell, the Congress of Vienna (1814–15) restored the pre-Napoleonic patchwork of independent governments. Italy was again controlled largely by the Austrian Empire and the Habsburgs, as they directly controlled the predominantly Italian-speaking northeastern part of Italy and were, together, the most powerful force against unification.

An important figure of this period was Francesco Melzi d'Eril, serving as vice-president of the Napoleonic Italian Republic (1802–1805) and consistent supporter of the Italian unification ideals that would lead to the Italian Risorgimento shortly after his death. Meanwhile, artistic and literary sentiment also turned towards nationalism; Vittorio Alfieri, Francesco Lomonaco and Niccolò Tommaseo are generally considered three great literary precursors of Italian nationalism, but the most famous of proto-nationalist works was Alessandro Manzoni's I promessi sposi (The Betrothed), widely read as a thinly veiled allegorical critique of Austrian rule. Published in 1827 and extensively revised in the following years, the 1840 version of I Promessi Sposi used a standardized version of the Tuscan dialect, a conscious effort by the author to provide a language and force people to learn it.

Exiles dreamed of unification. Three ideals of unification appeared. Vincenzo Gioberti, a Piedmontese priest, had suggested a confederation of Italian states under leadership of the Pope in his 1842 book Of the Moral and Civil Primacy of the Italians.[13] Pope Pius IX at first appeared interested but he turned reactionary and led the battle against liberalism and nationalism.

Giuseppe Mazzini and Carlo Cattaneo wanted the unification of Italy under a federal republic, which proved too extreme for most nationalists. The middle position was proposed by Cesare Balbo (1789–1853) as a confederation of separate Italian states led by Piedmont.

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Italy in 1836

One of the most influential revolutionary groups was the Carboneria, a secret political discussion group formed in Southern Italy early in the 19th century; the members were called Carbonari. After 1815, Freemasonry in Italy was repressed and discredited due to its French connections. A void was left that the Carboneria filled with a movement that closely resembled Freemasonry but with a commitment to Italian nationalism and no association with Napoleon and his government. The response came from middle-class professionals and businessmen and some intellectuals. The Carboneria disowned Napoleon but nevertheless were inspired by the principles of the French Revolution regarding liberty, equality and fraternity. They developed their own rituals, and were strongly anticlerical. The Carboneria movement spread across Italy.

Conservative governments feared the Carboneria, imposing stiff penalties on men discovered to be members. Nevertheless, the movement survived and continued to be a source of political turmoil in Italy from 1820 until after unification. The Carbonari condemned Napoleon III (who, as a young man, had fought on their side) to death for failing to unite Italy. Many leaders of the unification movement were at one time or other members of this organization. The chief purpose was to defeat tyranny and to establish constitutional government. Though contributing some service to the cause of Italian unity, historians such as Cornelia Shiver doubt that their achievements were proportional to their pretensions.

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The first meeting between Garibaldi and Mazzini at the headquarters of Young Italy in 1833

Many leading Carbonari revolutionaries wanted a republic,[18] two of the most prominent being Giuseppe Mazzini and Giuseppe Garibaldi. Mazzini's activity in revolutionary movements caused him to be imprisoned soon after he joined. While in prison, he concluded that Italy could − and therefore should − be unified, and he formulated a program for establishing a free, independent, and republican nation with Rome as its capital. Following his release in 1831, he went to Marseille in France, where he organized a new political society called La Giovine Italia (Young Italy), whose motto was "Dio e Popolo" (God and People), which sought the unification of Italy.[19]

Garibaldi, a native of Nice (then part of Piedmont), participated in an uprising in Piedmont in 1834 and was sentenced to death. He escaped to South America, though, spending fourteen years in exile, taking part in several wars, and learning the art of guerrilla warfare before his return to Italy in 1848.

I hope you guys like this new update! Be sure to like(if you like it), comment(please comment so I can learn what your opinion is) and.....follow I guess.
 
Mainly Italy dominance over the Med and Red Sea
That part was clear, although that is hardly a POD: these are the effects of it. The first chapter is a nice collection of facts and ideas regarding OTL idea of a united Italy (besides, a minor nitpick: you can hardly call Dante a "Renaissance writer", and even Boccaccio and Petrarca are precursors of the Renaissance at best) up to pretty much 1848. So, question might be rephrased as: which year is the POD? 1848, mayhaps?
 
That part was clear, although that is hardly a POD: these are the effects of it. The first chapter is a nice collection of facts and ideas regarding OTL idea of a united Italy (besides, a minor nitpick: you can hardly call Dante a "Renaissance writer", and even Boccaccio and Petrarca are precursors of the Renaissance at best) up to pretty much 1848. So, question might be rephrased as: which year is the POD? 1848, mayhaps?
Oh no, I’m sorry, the POD is in 1836
 
Capitulum II: The Moroccan Wars, the First Moroccan War
Capitulum II: The Moroccan Wars, the First Moroccan War

The nation destined to unify the Italian peninsula and gain dominance over the Mediterranean and the Red Seas was the Kingdom of Sardinia, or Sardinia-Piedmont. After obtaining their independence from France in the Congress of Vienna, they took controll of the Republic of Genoa. However, the young kingdom had bigger aims in Lombardia, which was controlled by the Austrian Empire. Out of pure interests in the region, the Italian state aimed to rally the Italians against their Hapsbourg competetors. It's first step was with an official alliance with the Duchy of Lucca on January 25 1836. Carlo Ludovico, Duke of Parma, visited the capital of the Kingdom of Sardina for the occasion, and hoped to establish deep relations with the Sardinian king, Carlo Alberto of Savoy. Supported by the Sardinians, Lucca abolished feudalism, and developed various of its cities and ports. So far, both Lucca and Sardinia were focused on the "homefront", which was the Italian peninsula.

However, a serie of incidents would expand the two monarchies outside of the peninsula, and would cause the Kingdom of Sardina to develop the so called "Mare Nostrum Doctrine".

The Alaouite dynasty Morocco had become a nation poorly supported by the international community because of the action of piracy against western nations. The Kingdom of Sardinia was hurt as well. On March 09 1836, in particular, a Sardinian ship was attacked by Berber pirates, and the crew and passengers were believed to had been sold into slavery. Attacks by Moroccan pirates increased in the aftermath of March 20 1836 gold rush in the Argentiera della Nurra, near Sassari, in Sardinia. On July 10 1836 the Kingdom of Sardina, after receiving confirmations of foreign powers neutrality in the matter, demanded Morocco to makre preventive moves to stop piracy in the Mediterranean. However, despite sultan Abd-al Rahman best intentions to prevent war with the European countries, he told the Sardinians that his hands were tied on the matter.

Believing this to be some sort of insult, the Kingdom of Sardinia, followed by the Duchy of Lucca on July 21 1836, declared war on Morocco on July 17. On September 05 1836 the first Sardinian and Lucchese soldiers landed near the city of Ajdir, taking it by storm. After an initial beachhead was gained, the Sardinian-Lucchese forces focused on expanding in the area to expand the beachhead. They met relatively stiff resistance from the native Waryagher tribe, but managed to hold their position until the rest of the Sardinian and Lucchese armies arrived to expand into the interior of Morocco. The initial army was under overall command of Eusebio Bava. By December 14 1836, the Sardinian and Lucchese forces controlled a territory that went as deep as Midar in the south, further east to Al Aaroui and as west as Targuist. The combined Sardinian and Lucchese armies continued to raid further west, but could not launch major offensives without risking to be intercepted by more numerous Moroccan armies. Alessandro La Marmora arrived with reinforcements for further expansions in the Rif region on March 07 1837. With his arrival, the Sardinian and Lucchese armies raided the interior of Morocco and continued their advance in the Rif region. They managed to expand further west, and placed Tangiers under siege. However the controll of the Western territories was still limited to the coast, while the interior was still in Moroccan hands.

The Sardinian-Lucchese expeditionary force to the west was composed of 16,000 men, 65 pieces of artillery, and 41 ships. General Eusebio Bava personally took charge of the expedition. The objective of the Sardinian-Lucchese forces was to defend the Western Territories which connected the Sadinian-Lucchese territories to the further west territories in order to continue the Tangiers siege. On June 30 1837 Bava troops took Chefchaouen. On 01 July, Bava captured Derdara. Then on 03 July Bab Berred was taken. On 11 July 1837, Bava advanced towards Issaguen, and all Moroccan activities in the region seemed to stop.

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Battle of Chefchaouen, June 30 1837

On the night of 18 July 1837, Sardinian and Lucchese forces took controll of Aknoul. The Moroccans responded with cavalry and several outdated, but still deadly, cannons, completely repelling the Sardinian and Lucchese assault.

On 26 July, Sardinian and Lucchese forces again reached Aknoul, meeting stiff resistance from what were reported to be "tribal Moroccan forces". Both the Sardinians and Lucchese made gains, but were once again repulsed by cannon fire. However, they did not entirely abandon their efforts, and the city remained contested.

On 29 July, further clashes for controll of Aknoul occurred between the combined Sardinian and Lucchese forces against the Moroccan ones. This time, 10.600 Sardinian and Lucchese forces succeeded in capturing the city and hoisted their flags. After these victories against the Moroccan armies, Alessandro La Martora moved to Tangiers to complete the siege.

On 3 P.M. of 04 September 1837 Bava moved to take Larache, and on 05 September he begun the attack. In the morning hours the rains stopped the operations but finally Bava begun his attack. His troops had to move in the muddy terrain of the Oued Loukos under enemy fire, taking high casualties advanging against the Moroccan trenches. Meanwhile, on the 19th of September, Tangiers fell to the Sardinians and the Lucchese.

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One of the cannons used by the Moroccan armies

After some other minor raids against the Moroccans along the Atlantic coast, Abd-al Rahman sued for peace against the Sardinians and Lucchese governments. The Sardinian-Moroccan war, or as it would later be known, the First Sardinian-Moroccan War, was over.

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Map showing the Sardinian and Lucchese armies movements, with 1)major operations from June 30-July 11 1937, 2) July 18-July 29 major operations and 3) September 06-September 19 major operations

On Tangiers, harsh treaties were forced on the Moroccans for not being able to stop the piracy. The Sardinian and Lucchese people were to be grant trading privileges in the entirety of the Rif and Aš-šarq, while the Riffian cities of Nador, Tangiers, Tétouan and Al Hoceima, while Lucca would gain Ajdir. Morocco would also pay a large sum of money for compensation of both Sardinian and Lucchese losses, and would increase its efforts agains piracy.

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Morocco after the Tangier treaty, showing areas which were to have Sardinian and Lucchese privileges

Many believed that the treaty was too harsh on the Moroccans, and that the Sardinians and Lucchese were essentially trying to turn the African nation into a colony, however both Italian nations assured the major powers that their intentions were to prevent further events of piracy and raids. Spain, having ended the Carlist War and with the rise of Infante Carlos María Isidro of Spain as king of Spain believed the Sardinians and Lucchese rivals regarding the colonization of Morocco.

However on that moment, the Kingdom of Sardinia realized that it would not be in any way safe if foreign powers ruled the Mediterranean. While aims of Italian unifications were still a priority, a new mission appeared for Sardinia. The Mediterranean sea was to become an Italian lake in one way or the other. Only then Sardinia may be able to survive these harsh times.

I hope you guys like this new update! Be sure to like(if you like it), comment(please comment so I can learn what your opinion is) and.....follow I guess.
 
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Interesting start, I'm following now.
But are really 16000 men just enough? Was the technological disparity so big at the time to nullify the much, much larger moroccan population?
 
Interesting start, I'm following now.
But are really 16000 men just enough? Was the technological disparity so big at the time to nullify the much, much larger moroccan population?
It's more like concentration of forces. While the Moroccans have a bigger army, the Sardinians and Lucchese tricked them to send against them smaller stacks, which they could then destroy much more easily.

On top of that, 16.000 men aren't all that the Sardinians and Lucchese sent in Morocco. I don't exacly remember the ammount, but there were more men involved in the conflict. Beside, France in 1844, not even 10 years later in our timeline managed to defeat Morocco with barely 15.000 men.
 
It's more like concentration of forces. While the Moroccans have a bigger army, the Sardinians and Lucchese tricked them to send against them smaller stacks, which they could then destroy much more easily.

On top of that, 16.000 men aren't all that the Sardinians and Lucchese sent in Morocco. I don't exacly remember the ammount, but there were more men involved in the conflict. Beside, France in 1844, not even 10 years later in our timeline managed to defeat Morocco with barely 15.000 men.
oh yes, now it makes sense, didn't know France used such little manpower.
 
Capitulum III: The Moroccan Wars, the Second Moroccan War
Capitulum III: The Moroccan Wars, the Second Moroccan War

Now that the kingdom of Sardinia and the Duchy of Lucca had the dominance of the Mediterranean as their common aim, they intended to spred their influence in the sea even further. On February 02 1838 the kingdom of Sardinia claimed that Abdelkader soldiers had passed through Morocco and begun attacking Sardinian and Lucchese concessions. However, on 27 February the Kingdom of France sent a message to Sardinia, demanding that all plans of invasions of Algeria were to be nullified, as the region was under the French sphere. Sardinia decided to comply: they could take on poorly organized countries such as Morocco, but they had no chance to fight a world power like France. However the French king, Louis Philippe I, found great admiration in the daring actions of the Kingdom of Sardinia, calling Carlo Alberto di Savoia "The daring devil of the Mediterranean". The two monarchs would meet on May 11 1843, and an alliance between the two states was born. The Duchy of Lucca too become aligned with the French, while the Papal States had become Sardinian allies on April 16 1839. The French soon saw the house of Savoy as a contigency plan against the Austrian Hapsbourg, with a stench anti-Austrian royal house slowly but steadily spreading into the Italian peninsula as either an ally or a puppet. Both French and Papal agencies and industries were welcomed in the Sardinian and Lucchese concessions in the Rif region of Morocco. And they were badly needed.

Despite the fact that Morocco promised to stop piracy in the Mediterranean, not only now the Moroccan government often intentionally looked the other way in several pirate attacks, but also supported raids against the Sardinian and Lucchese possessions. The Spanish ones were largely left alone, as Carlos María Isidro of Spain had struck a deal with Abd al-Rahman of Morocco, in which Spain would enter any sort of war effort against Sardinia and Lucca in any sort of war against the two Italian nations. The Moroccans heavily supported rebels in the Tangier regions, and it was not until March 13 1841 that the region was pacified. However, on November 20 1841, a major Berber raid, supported by Morocco, hit the concession in Tangiers, and was barely repulsed. Despite having the right to settle in the Rif and Aš-šarq regions, the very few who did were constantly harassed by the natives, with the Moroccans doing very little to stop them. On January 07 1843 Sardinia decided that it was time to act. After another major skimmerish between Moroccan and Sardinian forces, and the establishment of the alliance with France, Sardinia declared war against Morocco on May 11 1843. The Papal States joined too in the war, with Pope Gregory XVI calling the war a crusade, not necessarily against Muslim, but against the uncivilized nation of Morocco, and to protect the Christian communities against the Moroccans. Serbia, who had become a close patner of Sardinia on October 05 1837, also sent volunteers in the region as a mean to gain military experience and as a possibility of gaining recognition from the Italian states and France.

General Eusebio Bava troops begun their advance to the capital of Morocco, Fez, with 18.000 troops, while Alessandro La Martora and his 15.000 troops advanced from Al Hoceima.

On June 04 1843, Sardinian forces assaulted Wazzan but were met with fierce resistance by Moroccan soldiers. Their advances were initially slow but eventually they overwhelmed Tawfiq al-Qubiai's men, taking the town of Wazzan before swiftly capturing Jorf El Melha. On 07 June, Moroccan forces began shelling the Sardinian positions in an attempt to recapture them, though no casualties were reported.

On 10 June, Moroccan forces re-captured Jorf El Melha after a swift advance in which they pushed the Sardinians back over Wazzan. Later during the day, the Sardinian attempted a counter-attack. Heavy fighting continued into the night, with Sardinian apparently massing for a renewed attack against the more numerous Moroccans.

By 11 June, the situation turned into a meat grinder. By 14 June, however, the Sardinian army was victorious, being more organized and having caused 12.000 Moroccan casualties.

On June 16, Carlist Spain declared war against Sardinia and its allies in defence of Morocco, hoping for French neutrality. Instead, the French intervened against the Spanish government, and quickly begun operations.

While that happened, Sardinian troops under Bava took Fez on August 12 1843, advancing then north to encircle several Moroccan elements who threatened La Martora's army. On September 08, La Martora's army was already at the outskirt of Casablanca. While that occurred, the French army advanced in the Rif region, defeating several Moroccan armies and then marched on the Spanish concession on Ceuta. As a matter of fact, the French army even landed on the Spanish Gibraltar peninsula and conquered the city of Jerez, while the rest of the army focused on the Pyrenee front. Other elements of the French army reached the city of Khouribga. La Marmora army then advanced on the Moroccan city of Meknes, while Bava's army marched on Casablanca. By this point the Moroccan army was essentially gone, and all that the Sardinian armies did was march on various major Moroccan cities, occupying them and declaring them part of a Moroccan protectorate.

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Second Sardinian-Moroccan war army movements, with 1) being the battle of Wazzan, light blue being Sardinian/Lucchese/Papal/Serbian army movements, and darker blue being French army movements

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Iberian front during the Second Sardinian-Moroccan war, in light blue are French occupied areas, while in light yellow are Spanish occupied areas

After Morocco was fully conquered by the Sardinian alliance, Spain realized it had little to no hope of winning against this new alliance, and decided to submit in order to not be too harshly punished. Indeed in the treaty of Fez, Spain was forced to simply cede Melilla and Ceuta to the new Sardinian protectorate over Morocco, but would not have to cede anything in the Iberian peninsula, nor it had to pay reparations. On top of that, while having been occupied in Catalonia and in Southern Andalusia, Spain came out not too much devastated, without any major losses with the exception of a naval loss in the Biscay sea shortly after their entrance in the war to the French.

Morocco, on the other hand, was not so lucky. It become a protectorate, with France gaining everything south of the Atlas mountains, while Sardinia gained everything else. Lucca concession increased in size and reached the Oued Ghis river in the south.

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The Moroccan protectorate, 11 September 1844

The British did not particurally enjoy this new turn of events, with Sardinia slowly gaining major influences in North Africa. Some historians claimed that this was the beginning of the rivality between Britain and Italy for dominance over the Mediterranean sea.

As for all various Sardinian allies, all gained major advantages. France for example could now launch further incursions into Algeria and the Sahara desert, while the Papal State begun sending missionaries in Morocco. Louis Philippe I esteem for the Sardinians grew even further, and the French went as fas as to say that they would had supported their effort in the Italian unifications. However, Carlo Alberto of Savoy dreamed even bigger. He saw the Mediterranean as a future Italian lake, and realized that the French were the best way to get it. So he made an audacious proposal to Louis Philippe I. "You help me rule the Mare Nostrum [Mediterranean sea], and you shall rule it as well.". Sardinia was shaping to become one of France best allies not only for further influence in the Italian peninsula, but also for further influence in the Mediterranean sea. And considering the rivality between both the French and the British, it didn't seem like a bad deal.

I hope you guys like this new update! Be sure to like(if you like it), comment(please comment so I can learn what your opinion is) and.....follow I guess.
 
Capitulum IV: The Greek Wars: The First Greek War, part 1
Capitulum IV: The Greek Wars: The First Greek War, part 1

While the Sardinians continued their efforts against the Moroccans, in the Eastern Mediterranean problems continued to arise with the young kingdom of Greece. Back on April 30 1839 the Ottomans and the Sardinians signed a treaty of non aggression, as the Ottomans had little to no intention to start any sort of conflict with the "little tiger of the Mediterranean", as Sardinia was nicknamed at the time. While the Ottomans had no fear of the Sardinians themselves, they feared that the French might intervene in case incidents with the Sardinian navy ever occurred. This sat poorly with some extremist organizations within Greece. However, the biggest clashes between the Sardinians and the Greeks did not occur with the Greeks themselves, but rather with their Cretan brothers. The Christian Cretans had risen up together with the rest of Greece in the Greek Revolution of 1821, but despite successes in the countryside, the Ottomans held out in the four fortified towns of the northern coast (Chania, Rethymno, Irakleio and Agios Nikolaos) and the island was eventually reconquered by 1828, becoming an Egyptian province (Muhammad Ali's Egypt was a vassal of the Ottoman Empire, but a powerful and semi-independent one with its own military). Various Cretan rebel cells had begun to develop, harassing Ottoman and Egyptian ships with the support of Greece, but on September 02 1843 the ship targeted by these Crete nationalists was not Ottoman, nor Egyptian. It was a Sardinian ship.

The Sardinians at first demanded the Ottomans reparations, threatening to cancel the non aggression pact of 1839, but soon realized that the Ottomans did not practice piracy on the same scale as the Moroccans. As relations with the Ottomans resumed, the Sardinians accused the Greeks of the attack and demanded reparations. The British, who had strong interests in the Mediterranean and were wary of Sardinian expansion and alliance with France, promised to defend Greece, which decided to refuse the Sardinian demands.

British Punch magazine potrayed the Sardinian declaration of war against greece as an analogue of an Eritrean fable, in which a leopard cub (the Sardinian ship) is killed by a herd of elephants (the Ottoman empire), but when the cub father (the kingdom of Sardinia) demanded to know who the killer was, and when he was told that it was the elephants, he instead called the goats (Greece) guilty of the murder. In reality, Sardinia was more than willingly to bring the war with the Ottomans, something that the French themselves were interested in and were keen in entering the conflict with Sardinia. None the less, on September 10 1844, after Morocco was fully conquered by France and Sardinia, the Italian kingdom and its allies declared war against Greece, accusing them of supporting dangerous cells that could threaten the stability of the Mediterranean.

While the war was technically declared on September 10 1844, the Sardinian population remained unaware of the situation until November 22 1844, when Britain entered the war against Sardinia and her allies. Sardinia guaranteed France that the sole purpose of the French in the conflict was to contain the British navy as best as possible, in order for the Sardinians to land on Greece. While France would do most of the naval work, Sardinia main mission was to conquer Greece as fast as possible. However, before this plan could be placed in action, the British managed to launch a daring raid on Savona and Nice, resulting in the occupation of the two cities. After that, Britain proceeded to consolidate her position near the coast, and advanced inland. However, the British army greately underestimated the Sardinian one.

Near Cairo Montenotte, the Sardinian Army faced a smaller foe, and their cavalry on the left flank outflanked the British as the British and Sardinians infantry set up firing lines in a wooded area in the center of the battlefield. The British army was destroyed, with 363 British troops and 87 Sardinian troops being killed during the battle.



Sardinian cavalry charge at Cairo Montenotte

In the Mediterranean, active naval collaboration took place between France and Sardinia to fight against British forces. The French forces, led by Patrice de MacMahon, and the Sardinian forces, led by Maurizio Gerbaix de Sonnaz, launched an attack on British occupied Niece. Macmahon had already attempted to make a surprise attack on Nice once, but had been repulsed by British forces.

A fleet of 110 french ships under François d'Orléans left from Marseille against the British. d'Orléans arrived with his fleet, accompanied by the Sardinian Ambassador. As almost nothing had been prepared on the Sardinian side to assist the French fleet, Carlo Alberto attempted to scramble a fleet to support the French. Meanwhile, d'Orléans went to the harbour of Genoa on 20 December where he was received with honours. The combined fleet sailed out of Genoa on the 13th of January.

The French force first landed at Monaco. The French and Sardinian forces then collaborated to attack the city of Nice on 14 January 1845. The Franco-Sardinians were confronted by a stiff resistance, culminating with a major battle on 23 January, but the British garrinson surrendered on 26 January.


Cannons used by the British in their defense during the siege of Nice

Despite their victories, Carlo Alberto was afraid that, unless the Sardinian army finally landed on Greece, there would be a revolution at home. There had been too many wars by now, and the local population was growing unhappy. In order to have at least the government on his side, he accepted the creation of the Senato Subalpino, the Sardinian parliament. On February 16 1845, Carlo Alberto renounced his absolute powers and decided to partially limit his powers, with Sardinia becoming a semi-constitutional monarchy. On February 19 1845, the first elections occurred in Sardinia.

The news of the proclamation of the Sardinian parliament were not the only good news for the kingdom of Sardinia. On 27 February 1845, the Sardinian forces attacked the last British forces in Savona. During February 31 and March 01 in the initial Sardinian attack, nearly 1,500 British prisoners were taken after fierce fighting. The Britishmanaged to evaquate the majority of their forces none the less.

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Army movements during the Piemontese campaign, with 1) being the battle of Cairo Montenotte, and 2) being the siege of Nice

Areas occupied by Britain in the First Sardinian-Greek war.png

Areas occupied by Britain at their maximum extent before Sardinian and French counterattacks

After the British were kicked out of Piedmont, the Sardinians finally begun their attack against Greece. While the majority of the naval battles were fought by France during the war, there was one battle, at the Strait of Messina, which resulted in a Sardinian victory, and while small compared to other battles during the war, it was the beginning of Italian experience in the Mediterranean sea.

The Greek navy supported however possible the British in bombarding the island of Sardinia for their anticipated invasion of the island, but one Greek ship quickly found herself isolated in the Strait of Messina after the British went to attack what they believed to be a Sardinian or French ship. While the Greek ship was returning to Greece, it was attacked by 13 Sardinian ships and sunk.

With no one to oppose the fleet, the Sardinians finally landed in Greece on April 10 1845, near Kyparissia. The Sardinians advanced inland, taking Mouriatada without much of a fight. As this occurred, the British landed in Sardinia, taking Cagliari easily. While the British slowly but steadily moved inland in Sardinia, the Sardinians themselves took Calamata in Greece. The Sardinian army, under Gantano Sofilari, advanced north, taking Patrasso.

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