This is my first submitted 'story', and it is an alternate historical timeline of the Kingdom of England. Basically, I took notes as I played Medieval II: Total War and then struchtured the timeline into this document. There may be a few irregularities and confusions due to my not proof-reading the document. If you like this, then also check out The Kingdom Of France Alternate History.
If you like this, then also check out The Kingdom Of France Alternate History.
The Kingdom of England
1080 – 1400
The making of a Kingdom
After many land disputes between various kingdoms, claiming this small island for itself, The Norman invasion of 1066 finally founded the Kingdom of England as the proprietor of England, and the dominant force in The British Isles.
The early aims of England were not war, in fact far from it. England wished to become centralised and productive in her aims, by seeking trade agreements with neighbouring European lands, most of which were far more mature in their realms than England. For 30 Years, England saw no conflict with any other major state; she began her time as a kingdom annexing small city-states such as Bruges in 1086, Rennes in 1087, Wales in 1090 and York in 1091. While these minor campaigns were beneficial for England, and doing this took little time and money, England's relations with the neighbouring French began to deteriorate as France had declared these states French.
While England did not want war with the French, she was not prepared to be persuaded into giving up her newly conquered lands easily, and prepared for what seemed like an impending attack. The strengthening of England's army put a strain on her economy greatly, but she did not want to seem like the aggressor in the war with France, as The Holy Roman Empire (Europe's foremost power) had an alliance with both. England sought to improve her economy by obtaining a trade agreement with the Scots, who were oddly Europe's most economically viable nation, and would remain so for over 200 years. It seemed that Scotland had similar aims than those of England, which were to maintain a happy populace in her native lands, with a strong economy, before setting out to conquer foreign lands.
With this motto, Scotland conquered Ireland, and now held three states in the seven in the British Isles, England holding the other four. London by 1110 was Europe's most advanced city technologically and in size, and Edinburgh was second, closely following London's lead. This mutually beneficial relationship with Scotland allowed both states to develop with their military's technology even though neither had been in a war with any European nation to date. England was the first to manufacture a working Trebuchet, while Scotland's Highland archers were being slowly replaced by Strong Yeoman Crossbow Militia.
England's troublesome relations with France had been cooled since the turn of the century, and both England and France realised that peace was more beneficial than war. England's alliance with the Holy Roman Empire was Outstanding due to the amount of income England was getting from German trade. England had also given trading rights to Portugal and the distant Byzantine Empire, both possessing valuable Iron that England needed to make her growing military stronger. This was also aided by England's purchasing of many weaker states' provinces. Algeria, for example, was purchased by England from The Moors in 1108, along with Corsica and Sardinia. These were all highly valuable (although The Moors did not realise this) as they had the potential to be large trading outlets in the Mediterranean. And while England was no where near the states of Germany and France in the size and power of her military, she was no doubt setting the grounds for what would become one of Europe's foremost superpowers.
It was at this time, in the year 1116 when England's slow, booming economy was interrupted by a war that started out as a minor trade disagreement, but ended up being one of the most costly wars in existence to date; for both sides.
The War of the Nordic alliance
In March 1116, about 30 miles from the coast of York, England; the Danish navy attacked and sunk eight ships belonging to the Imperial navy of The Holy Roman Empire. The first blow of what would become a 40 year conflict had been struck. King William the Conqueror of England, now an old man of 82, swore he would pledge allegiance to The Holy Roman Empire and invade Denmark so long as The Holy Romans could make sure that France would not take advantage of the situation - a war with two European nations would result in disaster for England.
This became so. England began building up her army and navy and within only two years was ready to invade Danish lands. On January the first 1121, William the Conqueror sent his son and heir to the English throne Prince Rupert across the North Sea to host the largest invasion attempted by anyone in the middle ages. William himself did not go, as he knew he may not be able to continue the conquest, being of such an old age and in ill-health.
In February, Rupert arrived on the beaches of Denmark, and began to march on the capital of Arhus. William had organised that a German coalition force would aid them in the battle, but the city would remain English. England had underestimated the power of the Danes, and on their way to the capital were attacked on two separate occasions. While they forged victories after both these battles, English losses were high due to the men being exhausted of marching and fighting. England knew that if the same happened to the German coalition then the campaign would be over before it had had a chance to succeed.
By April, the force arrived at the capital, having recruited local mercenaries in towns along their route. These mercenaries were in some cases better trained and better equipped than the English, which gave them an idea of the battle they would be fighting at the capital. Rupert besieged the capital for four months while waiting for the Imperial coalition to arrive. It never did. England was furious with The Holy Roman Empire, and sent a Diplomat to their lands to query what had happened. When the Diplomat arrived in Frankfurt, the Imperial capital, he found that it was not imperial at all; it was Danish.
England, highly underestimating the Danish force, realised that this war was not going to be easily won. Rupert's army besieged Arhus for a further two months until 1123, when he launched the invasion. He took the city with maximum effect, taking minimal casualties and inflicting many. It was when he was settling in to the newly conquered English land that he heard his father had passed at the ripe old age of 85, a saintly age for someone of the time. This made the newly named Rupert the Brave king. The English occupied Denmark, and quickly acted to reinforce the region, building a bigger stone wall, and hiring more men to guard the walls from the fear of an attack to reclaim Denmark for the Danish.
King Rupert, now realising that the Danish were a force to be reckoned with, pleaded with England's closest ally; Scotland, the King of which he was on personal terms with. King Andrew of the Scots agreed to help out the English for an agreement of 10,000 florins paid over a period of time. This was something England knew it could not afford based on its current income. This prompted King Rupert, a far more chivalrous king than that of his father, to raise all taxes in every region of England, particularly the French regions that England controlled, as the French factions were very supportive of Rupert, due to his reinforcement of their regions to stop the hated French from invading.
With Scottish support, England could send 90% of her navy across the North Sea to assist the young Admiral Jenson in his struggle to dominate the seas, while Scotland would defend England's coastline against the Danes and Pirates that were posing a growing threat to England's trade, and therefore her economy. This put England much in debt to Scotland, and when the war was over, England promised Scotland Denmark as a gift, while England kept Sweden, Norway, and the rest of Scandinavia.
After this agreement came into effect, England sent the rest of her navy, with a large army trained mainly in Nottingham across the North Sea, leaving only four ships in London's port. In 1126, England launched the rest of her campaign into Scandinavia, with Rupert spearheading the conquest that was in progress. Stockholm fell easily in 1127, but England met fierce resistance in Oslo. Rupert had decided to divide the large army marching through Scandinavia, with himself heading to Stockholm, and sending a slightly larger army to Oslo, hoping that enough people would have heard of Rupert in order for him to hire mercenaries along the way to Stockholm.
The army at Oslo was de-moralised under their Captain, without Rupert being present. This made Oslo harder to take, as King Knud, Denmark's legendary Monarch was held up behind the castle walls. After an exhausting battle, Captain Christopher led a cavalry charge down a long street in Oslo, piercing Knud's armour and flesh with his lance, killing him instantly. Knud's men were in chaos at the death of their king, and were slaughtered quickly after the charge. Christopher was not adopted by the Royal Family as some expected, but his unit remained captain of armies for three centuries, long after Christopher himself had passed away, making the unit the English army's most veteran.
With Knud dead, Denmark was de-moralised and split between monarchs, both of whom were very weak in comparison. Denmark was quick to offer a ceasefire with England after losing her three most important territories in the space of five years. England was not leaving the war without extending her legacy however, and England demanded Helsinki and Frankfurt if Denmark and England were to stop fighting.
Denmark reluctantly agreed, leaving only the small castle of Smolensk and Hamburg (now the Danish capital) under her command. England returned Frankfurt to the Holy Roman Empire, who had now expanded eastwards; and England gave Arhus to Scotland, as she promised. This agreement became known the Treaty of Copenhagen.
This Nine year conflict left England stronger than before, her relations with Scotland and The Holy Roman Empire better than ever and had turned Denmark into a small state with no amiable future in sight. England crippling Denmark's economy had also improved her economic status against France, as France had lost her one great trading partner, and substantially decreasing France's income per annum.
The conflict also left England with the new territory of Helsinki under her command, and while the populace was not bothered by English occupation, her neighbour was. Her new neighbour was also an expanding state. Her neighbour had crushed the Hungarians to the south, and her new neighbour; was Poland.
New Enemy, New Friends, Same War
Helsinki was Denmark's main military headquarters in the war with England, training troops quickly and efficiently to send to attack the English armies in Scandinavia - the army that conquered The Holy Roman Capital came from Helsinki. This is what made Helsinki such a strong position to hold in Europe; it being a major military-industrial complex and a strategic location north of Poland and West of Russian lands.
While Denmark was initially reluctant to give up Helsinki when King William asked prior to his death, Denmark freely gave it up the second time of asking not only because it sought peace with England, but the Polish had threatened to take it by force if it was not handed over. This was something England was not aware of, and this was something England had to get used to. The Polish were constantly threatening to take Helsinki if no diplomatic agreement was made. This forced England to re-enforce this region until the size of the army matched roughly half the size of the actual population. While this secured Helsinki against almost any threat of foreign occupation, it meant that many more soldiers had to be paid for, and these soldiers were not cheap. They were the Cream of the English Army, just as they had been the Cream of the Danish Army before that. And while the population deemed the size of the army unnecessary (and they were not afraid to show this), the King felt it necessary in order to keep this strategically miraculous state.
Hostilities began to rise around Helsinki between Four nations. Poland believed that Helsinki was essential to her expanding empire, in eventually crushing the Russians, who were posing a threat. Russia believed it to be Russian land, asking for England to hand it over in exchange for good money, but never threatening. Denmark wanted to reclaim Helsinki, believing that it was key in the Danes climb of the European ladder after dropping rather steeply. And England wished for Helsinki to remain a permanent corner-stone of the Kingdom Of England. And while Russia and Denmark were not willing to risk war with England after she had proven herself to be a capable power, Poland was not so cautious. Poland began showing signs of preparing for war. They began to build up their navy in their port only a few miles from Helsinki, they began training many men in surrounding states, and they even attempted an assassination on King Rupert, an attempt that prompted Denmark breaking her alliance with Poland, worrying that war with England could mean an excuse for an English attack. At this point, Denmark had declared a ceasefire with The Holy Roman Empire one year after England, but was still at war with the Scots, who were keen to follow England's example of building and Empire across Europe, rather than a small Kingdom as such.
With Poland standing alone, troops massed on the border, navies just outside the port of Helsinki, they declared war on England, laying siege to Helsinki, and blockading the port. While this did little economic damage, as Helsinki was not a trading state, The English let them lay siege for some time, until 1140. While Helsinki was being besieged, Russia offered England an intriguing offer. Russia offered a military Alliance with England, and they offered to attack Poland with (what they said) no strings attached. England realised that this was probably a ploy to try and assist her with her war on the Polish, and then ask for Helsinki at a later date. The English accepted the Scottish donation swiftly, which caused Poland to lift their siege on Helsinki, as they were under attack from a large invasion of true Russian strength. This proved a disastrous move for Poland, as this allowed England to extract much of its force from Helsinki to attack Riga, a small Polish town to the South of Helsinki, but an economic goldmine, generating over 6000 florins per annum for Poland. Capturing Riga would not be easy, but would mean that Poland would be financially crippled, leaving Russia and England to divide up Poland as they saw fit.
By 1143, England had arrived at the Gates of Riga, and as expected, it was heavily guarded. The first assault proved a disaster, as all three siege towers and both battering rams collapsed and burned before getting within 100 yards of the walls. This first assault on the South side of the city also saw England lose some 2,000 of her 12,000 strong army, with Poland only losing approximately 300 men. England, not wanting what they feared could have happened with Denmark, asked Scotland, once again, for assistance. Scotland had now almost made Denmark nothing but a memory; conquering Hamburg, and converting it into a military goldmine similar to that of Helsinki. Scotland agreed due to their economy remaining the strongest in Europe by a clear margin, and also as they had aims to improve their status in the East, so they could be seen as something more than just 'England's Shadow'.
England then made a plan for a second assault. She realised that without an inspiring leader, her assaults were doomed from the start, as much of her army ran before reaching the walls in the first assault. King Rupert was aging, and his death was drawing near, but he was also loved in Scandinavia where he had settled since the Norse War in years prior, and withdrawing him to fight in another war would most likely upset the people. Saint Christopher's Mailed Knights Guard, however were still housed in Oslo, and with Six Heroic victories under their belt, they had the awe inspiring command over a battlefield that England needed, without being any real treat to the population.
These Knights were then shipped across the sea, and their size had grown over the years to that of 600 Elite Knights who were war ready and influential to men on the battlefield. While England still laid siege to Riga, stopping the Poles from re-enforcing the region, Saint Christopher's Mailed Knights Guard were sent to Helsinki for the latest armour and weaponry, supplied by Portugal and the Byzantine Empire through trading rights. The Elite unit then went to join the siege of Riga, which was now de-moralising the Polish population inside drastically. A combination of this and the Elite Knights saw the second assault on Riga a success, a close victory, but a victory for the English nonetheless. The victory at Riga saw England cripple Poland's economy as predicted, however their victorious assault has always been overshadowed by their humiliating defeat at their first attempt of taking the city; this being something that England's future enemies kept in mind when planning their wars.
By 1145, England, Scotland and Russia had now entered what became known as the treaty of St. Andrew, with England and Russia declaring war on Denmark once more, and the two old rivals of Denmark and Poland becoming allies in their fight to survive as nations.
This treaty was put into effect almost instantly and by 1146, England and Scotland had formed a coalition in taking the last Danish settlement of Smolensk and three western states of Poland; Warsaw, Breslau and the coastal city of Gdansk. England also made a small coalition with Russia to take Kiev in the southeast, Crimea and Volgo-Bulgar, bordering Riga. While the Scottish-English coalition was executed well, Scotland and England had differing fighting styles, and to work together in a battle was not as effective as it could be. England for example, favoured engaging with spearmen and men-at-arms, and then bringing in cavalry round the sides to flank the men into a tight wedge from which they could not retreat. The Scottish favoured engaging with few men at the front, and then a large charge of men at arms from the left and right, forcing the enemy to fight on opposite sides. This often got in the way of English tactics, and the Polish soon learnt not to split up their army when facing a joint attack from England and Scotland, as that was when they could execute their own tactics, separately. There was even a case when an English cavalry charge went horribly wrong, and Scottish noblemen on foot ran in front of the cavalry, losing all but a handful in the unit.
The Russian-English coalition was a much better use of tactics on the battlefield, with English spearmen engaging from the front, and Russian horse-archers picking off men from the rear. However goals were sometimes unclear, and who the city belonged to after a victorious battle caused arguments. There was even one case, in the assault on Kiev, when the Russians had control of the City, but then at the end of the battle, the English claimed that they had lost fewer men, and took the City as English.
(It should be pointed out at this point that Kiev was a large trading city, with a port in the Black Sea, and holding Kiev would mean holding power in the East.)
While they were allied, Scotland and Russia did not have good relations during the war. Russia constantly marched across Scottish lands to get to Polish lands nearer to Scotland than Russia. Scotland consistently bribed Russian armies on their way to attack a Polish city or castle, so that Scotland could take settlements for herself. Russia and Scotland were only in an alliance with one another on the basis that England was as well. They both wanted to conquer Polish land, but considered it a bonus if the other side did not succeed.
After England had succeeded in her coalitions, England persuaded Poland to give them their most southerly states of Bucharest and Sofia, in exchange for a ceasefire. This treaty became infamous as the Treaty of Kiev; as it signified the strongest of all three of the powers withdraw from the war. Sofia and Bucharest were donated to Russia, in return that they give England Novgorod in the north. Russia barely accepted England's offer, only due to the fact that England had saved Moscow from an assault in 1152, for which they were very grateful.
A long and uneasy peace for England
Although England was now at peace with Poland, and Denmark was nothing but a page in the history books, England's economy was not what it was before the 40 year conflict began, and while it was improving, previous small states were beginning to approach England financially, or even militarily.
The Moors had sold Algeria, Corsica and Sardinia to England for a relatively hefty fee, and this aided The Moors failing economy by allowing them to purchase better farming equipment and marketplaces to allow them to make an income due to them not being at war with anyone for over 100 years.
Sicily had begun to conquer Africa and was working with Hungary in attacking Egypt and extracting the rich resources in the Holy Land, with the full support of The Pope. And as both Sicily and The Moors bordered England in Africa and the Mediterranean, they were becoming intimidating for England's colonies in the Med.
England could afford to lose its African colonies however, it was the enemies closer to home that worried England. France had kept quiet for a number of years, and had been building her military slowly and steadily. France had never had the confidence in her Economy to launch an attack on England, but did come close with one particularly mad King Louis the Bold. He put armies outside Bruges, Rennes and Antwerp in 1143, just as England had lost her assault on Riga, and threatened to attack if England did not pay France an insane some of money, resulting to something like the combination of all of the Economies in Europe. England refused, and France withdrew back into French lands threatening to come back.
The threat of a French assault was becoming ever more prevalent, however, and England was not financially fit to defend all of her Empire in France as well as Russia and Poland.
It was not all bad in the peace that followed The 40 year war, however. Scotland and England renewed their alliances, with military access granted on both parts as well as an English donation of 2000 Florins to Scotland. The military access allowed England to use Edinburgh as a trading port; a vital geographical port to hold. England and Scotland had effectively been a client kingdom for some time, it was only separate nationalities that divided them, their goals, friends and enemies were similar if not identical.
Scotland and Russia managed to wipe out the rest of the Polish lands, but sadly in time that it was only this war that was keeping them united. That, and the fear of England's intervention if a war were to spark up, was stopping a war as neither side knew who England would side with.
England's economy did begin to kick in again at around the turn of the century in 1200, in time for gunpowder development in Nottingham and Helsinki, with Scotland and England boasting the widest range of gunpowder technologies in 1233 onwards. It was around this time, after almost a century of peace and economic growth that England faced its next conquest;
The Spanish Conquest
In 1235, Spain invaded Ireland. This was the Beginning of England's most heroic victory it would ever see in a campaign, followed by several disappointing and crushing defeats. Scotland was not fit for war, as her three states in The British Isles were insignificantly enforced, and the size of the Spanish army that had marched onto the beaches of Dublin were enough to take all three settlements, and still pose a threat to The Kingdom further east.
Spain itself held only three regions in Spain itself, taking one from the Portugese in a brief war between 1102-1106. But these three regions were hard for any nation to take, as they were heavily re-enforced and Spain was in an alliance with the Moors, and war with one would no doubt result in war with the other.
This attack on the homeland, allowed Scotland to finally call in their favour that England owed them from their past war which stretched out over forty years. Scotland asked nothing but for England to attack Spain, and England having the strongest military in Europe, obliged. England sent two forces to Spain, and one small militia to Ireland to aid Scotland in their homeland struggle. This was the first time England made use of her Mediterranean colonies, as she used Algeria to send a force in from the South, and this merged with reinforcements coming from Corsica. Nottingham, being the international Gunpowder factory, created the second army that was sent to Spain. While the Mediterranean army consisted of mainly Longbowmen and Sudanese mercenary tribesmen, the English army from Nottingham came fitted with the latest technology: Cannons that could fire over a kilometre of open battlefield, a 20 manned Rocket launcher shipped in from Helsinki that could fire 35 'rockets' in six seconds, and a Grand Bombard, packing a force that could penetrate a Stone Wall with one shot, and that required one tonne of wooden frame to support it. These new technologies not only made victories easier by force, but they devastated enemy's morale with their loud explosions and their sheer size in the most part.
In 1237, the small English militia landed in Ireland to attack the Spanish force that was besieging Dublin. The militia consisted of a few Knights, with many crossbowmen and a few units of spearmen. This allowed England to make a swift weak point in the Spanish line of defence using their crossbows from afar, and then penetrating the gap with spearmen and cavalry. This, with the help of the force of the Scots, helped annihilate over half of the force sent to Ireland. The Spanish fleet was then destroyed by a large Scottish navy that had been constructed at Inverness a few years before the attack.
The English, now that The British Isles was safe, set their eyes to the sea and a year later in 1238, both fleets arrived in Spain. The Nottingham army instantly laid siege to Leon, the Spanish Capital, with the African army hiding outside the huge Spanish Fortress of Toledo. English Strategy triumphed, with Spain sending most of her technologically amiable army from Toledo to attack the army at Leon. The African army, armed with little more than catapults and ballista's in the way of siege equipment, took Toledo with a relatively small battle inside the fortress itself, and the main opposition coming from the populace itself, being unhappy with the current English King, Donaldbain the Tyrant, who had a reputation with the now forgotten Polish of executing the population, even when they were content with English rule. This then reflected on England's previous good reputation, with keeping to her deals and treaties, with a negligible one that was bloodstained.
The Battle for Leon itself, in 1239, was a far bloodier and tactical battle, as two large Spanish armies were being fought by one large English Army, but with each Englishman outnumbered at about 3:1. It also showed English tactics at their best, which go to emphasise English defeat in the near future, and how the change of Generals in Spain proved to be a disaster. The battle itself, therefore, requires a bit of a longer description.
It was noon, and the sun scorched down on the fully armoured English knights as they stood over the huge Spanish army marching towards them. The English had the high ground, and this allowed their gunpowder to dominate the early part of the battle. As the first Spanish army marched towards England, the English cannons, rocket launchers and bombards loaded their ammunition, ready for the Spanish to march within range. First to fire were the cannons, with a piercing sound, as well as collision, they fired upon the front men-at-arms, cutting down their numbers significantly. Then just after them, the Rocket launchers fired down upon the entire army, left to right, front to back, killing about one quarter of the entire army. The army turned and ran back down the hill, gaining no land and losing about a third of their 10,000 men.
They met up with the second Spanish army, numbering almost 20,000, which then began to charge up the hill, in a loose formation, and spread across the entire battlefield. Because they were moving twice as fast, and over about four times as much land, the Cannons and the grand Bombard would not be as effective. The Rocket Launchers turned and fired out over the width of the army, doing less damage, while the cannons and the Deafening Grand Bombard fired down the centre of the army, hoping to penetrate a large gap in the advance. This gap got larger, as the army got nearer, and General Malcolm sent his entire force besides some spearmen and the gunpowder units down through the gap, in a spearhead formation. This meant that, while they were now fighting uphill, the Spanish army had their backs to the Gunpowder units, and the Rocket launchers could fire upon the flank of the Spanish army, while being protected by the spearmen. This sent the Spanish army into chaos, some running up hill towards the spearmen, where they were killed, some splitting from the main army and running left and right, who were mowed down by cannons, and some who tried to run past the English bulk army downhill, who were flattened by the Grand Bombards.
Only about 500 Spanish of the force 30,000 strong escaped, the rest were killed or captured, and three-quarters of the Spanish killed were killed by gunpowder weapons. The English lost approximately 100 of their 10,000 men, and marched into Leon freely with no resistance, as the Spanish were so de-moralised that they chose not to fight.
With England taking two of Spain's settlements in a week, Spain was crushed. England took control of the last settlement, Zaragoza, and Spain became no more of a threat than Denmark. Scotland and England were even, Spain had been wiped off of the map, and England had occupied more land in the west, showing that she was not a declining power, which was keeping France at bay.
The Changing of the Guard
The Moors were an increasing threat to England's colonies in Africa and the Mediterranean, and this threat grew ever greater when England declared war on Spain. King Donaldbain had no interest in what Europe thought of him, he wanted a safe Empire where the risk of attack was low. While he was a murderous tyrant, he was highly intelligent and logical in his strategies and tactics, and this made him very efficient as a king. So while foreign powers and populations despised his tyrant ways, the English saw him as a genius.
England had his full support then, when he replaced Malcolm, and became the head of the Spanish Conquest. While Spain had indeed been conquered, he felt that the gap between Algeria and Spain should be closed. He intended to invade Morocco on two fronts, taking their two main cities of Marrakesh in Morocco, and Granada in Spain. He, himself, marched across Spain, and sailed down to Algeria to front the attack on Marrakesh, since this was a very anti-Christian place, and he believed his presence would scare the people out of civil disorder. He put his son, Prince Robert in charge of the assault of Granada, in Spain. In 1250, a simultaneous attack on Marrakesh and Granada took place, with both being successful in the taking of the cities. Both armies took three priests with them, in order to partly keep the army happy, but to attempt to convert the population of both states to a majority Catholic, as had been done in Algeria after about 20 years, with a singe priest. Granada was initially about 40% Catholic due to it being on the border with Spain, and there was not a huge unrest with the population about Religion initially. Morocco had terrible rioting for months until in 1253, it became stable, but with only 30% of the population Catholic, and the rest of the population being quiet out of fear of the King. Marrakesh remained stable and eventually, after some time it became a mainly Catholic state.
England was not very fluent with converting populations into their religion, as the lands they had previously conquered were Catholic. England itself had been excommunicated a number of times, and was never on good terms with the Papacy. This meant that when the population had been converted, England faced the problem of being excommunicated from what they believed in. This became a problem in Granada as many of the conversions from Islam into Christianity were done by neighbouring Portugese priests, and they were teaching that those who were excommunicated were sinners. The Catholic population of Granada then became furious, and began rioting with the English, claiming that they were going to hell. Granada had a revolt, and the English were kicked out. Granada suddenly became 100% Catholic, presumably because they had slaughtered all of the remaining Muslims. Portugal then bribed Granada into allowing them to rule over Granada, and Portugal gained her second province in over 150 years. Prince Robert, not wanting a war with Portugal, then did the same thing to Cordoba, and again, was kicked out. Portugal, once more occupied Cordoba, and had gained two provinces in two years without losing a single unit.
While Prince Robert was in the South of Spain, the Moors sent an army to attack Toledo, and sent Islamic Imams to Leon to try and convert the population. Robert could not make it to Toledo in time, and settled in Zaragoza which had been English since England took it from the Spanish. After constant rioting, Leon fell into Islamic hands also, but became a supremely powerful free-state. It had a stronger navy than England and Scotland combined, and had stolen the rocket launchers, cannons and the Grand Bombards from the English in the riot.
England was re-living her days of Riga, and had become embarrassed and ashamed by 1260 had lost all but one province of her Spanish land, her two Mediterranean islands, and the strongest part of her army to foreign lands, without even engaging in battle.
This was the turning point in The Kingdom of England's power. The year 1300 was England's infamous date where she was attacked on two fronts. But before we go into the details of that war, the twenty year period of 'peace' led England into an even more costly war with 5 separate factions, each with their own motives.
A Test of Faith
During England's campaign against the Spanish, her relations with other nations began to deteriorate drastically, turning previous allies into potential enemies. England's relationship with the Russians had begun to deteriorate during the Norse Conflict with Poland. After England took Kiev, Russia saw England as a friend, but more of a colleague, just working towards the same goal. The Alliance deteriorated further when Russia began threatening Scotland for control over Scottish Lands in the East. England stepped in to keep Russia at bay, but this did not stop Russia from blocking Scottish Trade routes, and spying on her armies.
These relations deteriorated to such an extent, that in 1246, Russia invaded Scotland and won a victory at The Battle of Hamburg, weakening Scottish influence in the area. England broke her alliance with Russia, as she wished to remain true to her client kingdom of Scotland, but refused to go to war with Russia, as she was still dealing with her problems in Spain. Russia won a second battle, just outside Denmark; however Russia's losses were great enough for her army to be crushed by two Scottish armies sent across the Sea from Inverness, which numbered 23,000. This battle showed Russia and the world that Scotland was not a small kingdom, which could be bullied into submission. Scotland then expanded in Russia slightly, taking a small Russian province of Bucharest in 1251, and then taking the lands of Budapest and Sofia in 1253. As Scotland became larger and more powerful, she became more confident. Scotland was no longer England's shadow, but was in the running with England for power in Europe. And while she had no lands in the West, she had similar amounts of land in the East as the English, and her armies generally were stronger, due to Scotland not being spread out across the whole of Europe.
This growth in Scotland's power and influence continued right up until 1266, when Russia finally took back Bucharest after four separate assaults. As Scottish power grew, her relations with England fell. There were riots in Edinburgh about English trading vessels stealing Scottish income, the new king of Scotland; Bruce, was very anti-English, and was unhappy about England occupying Scandinavia; land that he saw as Scottish. Alongside this, Scotland knew that England had always sought Ireland for the Kingdom of England, and the English militia that aided Scotland against Spain in 1237 actually tried to occupy Scotland, and convince the King that the Scottish army had been wiped out.
Scottish and English relations had indeed gone downhill after the Norse war, and were only kept fresh by England's aid against the Spanish. Scotland and England were never so far to disliking each other that they would go to war, however, and both Kingdoms had their own priorities up until the 14th Century to deal with. Scotland having the Russians and Hungarians (who had recently joined as one nation) constantly attacking on their border, and England having to deal with their religious war in Spain.
The main problem England faced with this twilight in her midst, alongside Russian distrust, was the now impending attack from France that was more inevitable than it had ever been. France had seen England's humiliating defeat in Spain, and had actually been building her army when England declared war with Spain (due to Spain and France being good allies), ready to attack. Now that England had lost the land she had taken, and her army was still recuperating, France saw it fit to take advantage.
The French marched from Toulouse down to Zaragoza, and across to Bordeaux with two separate armies, each consisting over four times the amount of garrisoned troops in both the English cities combined. The French then sent a third army from Paris to Caen, one of the English's oldest settlements, as it was where the Normans had lived before their invasion of The British Isles. The third French army from Paris had the Dreaded king Guile the Merciless commanding it, a master tactician and a man famous for slaughtering all captured men during a battle i.e. while the Battle was still going on.
It was this move that gave the English the largest stroke of luck that any nation could have had in Europe. When France moved such large amounts of troops from their regions, the French heir, Louis, was married to an English princess. Louis provoked a revolution in the capital and in every province under the French command. This forced Guile to cancel the invasion of England, being only a dozen or so miles from Caen, and Guile retreated back to Paris, where his son exiled him from France. Louis the Honest, as he now was named, made England sure that while he was on the throne, England was not at threat from a French attack. Louis, being only the age of 19, secured English supremacy over Anglo-French relations for another 50 years, until Louis's death in 1352.
While this huge stroke of luck enabled England to remain top of the game, a new threat of invasion was never far away, whether it be from an old friend or a long time enemy.
The War of Slavic Oppression
In 1298, Russia and Hungary became a single, client kingdom, abandoning their sovereignty and joining as one unit. England then agreed with Scotland that if Hungary were to declare war on Scotland, then England would invade Russia. Hungary and Russia were well aware of this deal, and within 2 years, Hungary had besieged Budapest and Sofia. England had been stockpiling siege weaponry since the Russians began to irritate Scotland in the 13th Century, and used these in their conquest across Novgorod to Moscow and further east. Moscow fell without a significant battle, and this meant that Scotland was now facing the main force of Slavic Oppression in the south. In 1306, Kiev, Moscow, Novgorod and Helsinki of the English, and Breslau, Gdansk and Hamburg of the Scots were besieged by a joint Hungarian and Russian force. This force totalled over 130,000 men, being more than the number of men used by both sides in the Nordic War combined. This large invasion force was not in vein either, as Sofia and Hamburg were taken by Hungary, and the Battle of Kiev was about to be played out by St. Christopher's Mailed Knights; all 960 of them.
The small 3,000 force in Kiev was against a 45,000 force of Hungarian and Russian men. Fortunately for England and Scotland, Russia was forced into recruiting Woodsmen and Peasants on her marches across English land. And if the army had been all 45,000 peasants, then England would have no need to worry as her elite unit could defeat them with no real problems. It was good then, that the army consisted mainly of these ordinary farmers, but the Hungarians, who had just won a successful campaign in Turkey, had brought across the Black Sea a small but highly efficient unit of what they considered to be Hungarian elite 'Battlefield Assassins'. These assassins consisted of about 2,000, and were highly efficient, and terrifically camouflaged when fighting at night time.
The battle was little more than mounds of peasants being mopped up by England's Elite unit to begin with, as Hungary had used these Russian peasants as a 'buffer' army. When England looked over the city walls, they saw a small Hungarian army waiting far from the city, most probably shocked with the slaughter. England decided to take the fight to them, leaving the safety of their walls behind. The very second that England opened the gates, Battlefield assassins pulled men off of their horses, cut the legs of horses to make the men fall and break their necks, or threw daggers from afar, killing instantly. England lost about 2,000 men and only 500 of the 960 Knights remained. England was able to shut her gates before Hungary could advance, but they knew that the battle was not over.
England sent three armies to aid her cities, as well as the Scots. One was sent to Moscow, one to Kiev, and one to Budapest. England also called in a favour from the Holy Roman Emperor, Ludwig, who attacked the Russian-Hungarians besieging Scottish lands. While Scotland was instantly successful in her campaign; England had a struggle to keep the Hungarians at bay. By 1320, Helsinki and Moscow were still firmly English, but the second Battle for Kiev was the bloodiest battle in the history of the Kingdom of England, resulting in 22,000 English deaths and 17,000 Hungarian-Scottish deaths. While England lost more men, she retained control of Kiev, and ultimately made the Hungarian-Russian invasion a failure. Russia became hunted by the English, and Scotland ran Hungary into Turkey, forcing her to occupy old lands of The Byzantine Empire. This proved a small problem for England, as she had now lost one of her vital trading nations. The English economy shunted due to this, and growth became very slow. The Scottish had gained more land, with a large tax income, and this was the last push by the Scots to remain ahead of Europe on the financial stage.
In 1325, Russia had lost her last battle at Yerevan, near Turkey, becoming a memory, and Hungary was posing no threat to English or Scottish rule as the new Mongolian Empire was taking over Hungarian lands from the East at a rate that had not been seen in Europe at any time.
For 250 years, England had overshadowed Scotland in Europe. And while England was saved by Scotland on more than one occasion, England never slipped from being the top dog. England had not let these favours go unreturned either, and had aided Scotland in her threat from Scotland; however the Scottish had always claimed that this was more to do with keeping England's home in Britain safe rather than to help out her closest ally. It was this final joint war against their "British" enemies then, which allowed Scotland to do what she had been training for, and to do what she knew at some point she would always have to.
The Assertion of power
Scotland knew, however, that while she may gain temporary success in the Great Anglican War (or The War of the British Isles), that a permanent victory would not be possible without foreign aid. A Scottish assassin, who still remains unknown, assassinated the English-friendly King Louis of France in 1335, putting King Luis the Pius in charge of the growing might of the Kingdom of France. Scotland then went into secret diplomatic relations with France, declaring that they would both attack England in 1340, thus giving both sides enough time to prepare their armies to perfection. France would attack all of the 'French' provinces of England, while Scotland would attack Helsinki, Novgorod, and Moscow among others in the East. Scotland did plan an invasion of England itself; however this was scrapped when the Scottish army was ambushed by an army of Spanish rebels left over from the Spanish Invasion.
The motives behind the Scottish invasion were growing, as mentioned. But some of the key factors were the population's famous disliking for one another. In fact, it was only the monarchies that had favoured a strong alliance, due to the fact that over more time they knew a war with the other would be increasingly expensive, and rather pointless. It was the final war of Slavic oppression, however, that persuaded Scotland to do what they had been planning for a quarter of a millennium.
1340 came, and Europe was in a state of relative peace. The Mongol expansion had ceased for the time being. England had not been at war since Russia was crushed, and had formed strong relations with most states in Europe (or at least any that posed a mild threat). Scotland knew what she was about to commit to would have no going back, as England would be prepared to take the fight to Scotland, and crush any sign of resistance.
Still, this did not deter Scotland from her goal, and in the middle of summer, Scotland's 2nd Polish army marched on Kiev, hoping to cripple England's economy with trade. France marched on Caen, Rennes and Zaragoza. While this would not cripple England's military or economy in any way, it would lose her her influence in Western Europe, and ultimately, her morale.
England was taken by shock and sheer surprise. Scotland even passed a small English militia on her way to Kiev, and England did very little fighting as they were so surprised by the attack. Luckily, a few scouts managed to escape to Kiev, and told England of what had taken place. Scotland had declared war on England.
At this time too, after the Slavic war, England had cut back on naval spending, relying once more on Scottish vessels to protect England's seas. This meant that English Admirals and what was of their navies were wiped out by Scotland in a matter of weeks. Scotland blockaded many ports, including London, and put a hole in England's economy. One that was never properly patched up.
Kiev, for the fifth time in its history, was under siege, and this was something that St. Christopher's Knights had been waiting for, and above all used to. Kiev had become the home of St Christopher's Mailed Knights, and had been training over 1,400 of them, ready to attack the Scottish army. Helsinki amassed a second army, to invade Denmark, and put a strain on Scottish economy, and Nottingham sent some of her troops to join the Yorkshire regiment, consisting almost entirely of Yew Longbowmen, which marched to Dublin, to take what England had always thought of as English.
The army at Kiev withdrew, due to the winter quickly setting in, only to be caught tired by the army marching to Denmark. This resulted in the famous Battle of Brest, close to Krakow, and caused Scotland to lose over three quarters of her army. Most of St. Christopher's Mailed Knights left Kiev, marching with the Helsinki army to split and conquer Hamburg, Denmark and Stuttgart. While England had gained land, Scotland had been forced into fighting to the last man, and England was highly de-moralised by long, drawn out battles which usually took the lives of many Englishmen.
In 1362, England finally took Dublin, and marched on Edinburgh and Inverness, both of which were highly undermanned by Scotland, due to her economy now in decline, and cutting back on military. Scotland, now, for the first time in 250 years was no longer the financial capital of the world. Edinburgh was rioting due to being under siege by the English. The King of England, Harold, was bold and a strong fighter. Upon marching into Edinburgh, he was killed by an astray Scottish crossbow bolt. This hit him in the chest; piercing his heart and making him die instantly. England continued to take Edinburgh, but only to face rioting in the capital once it had done so. The new captain of the army ordered for half of the population to be slaughtered; men, women and children. This proved a disaster for England in the eyes of Europe, and The Pope ordered a crusade to London, with anyone not joining facing the same wrath themselves.
The newly crowned King Lewes the Mean, however, was not deterred by his lack of Catholic faith, being an admitted atheist, and a patriot. The King ordered that Inverness be taken with maximum force, and that the population by decreased in size there, also. With the British Isles now under English control, Scotland was in a state of panic having only the settlements of Sofia and Budapest under her command. And with Hungary no longer at war with The Mongolian Empire, Scotland knew that she may be hearing from them Hungary soon. The English king declared that Scotland paid reparations to England, securing over 13,000 extra florins in England's treasury, making Scotland bankrupt.
King Lewes the Mean had become a hero for England, and a famous figure in the world. This meant that all neutral countries were too scared to join the crusade to London, in fear of the slaughter of their populace. The Pope therefore, became much less influential in Europe. This proved fatal for the neighbouring Italian States, as they became under conquest of what the Papacy declared as a national Inquisition. The Papal States spread northward into Milan and Venice, with the Pope now becoming more of a military leader, than a religious figure.
While England and Scotland were no longer at war, and Scotland was once again at the mercy of the English (just as they had been under William the Conqueror), Lewes set his eyes on France.
In 1378, King Lewes left his home in London, and set sail across the English Channel to land just outside Caen. He brought with him an army that consisted of Longbowmen, Cannons, Culverins, Men-at-arms, Cavalry and even remnants of the English Loyalists in Scotland that had fought alongside England as 'Rebels' in the campaign of The British Isles.
The army at Caen was pushed back, as were two others on the road to Paris. These armies all fled through the gates of Paris, and stood waiting. They had with them King Louis the Pius; the man who had been the head of state in France with a record of blood and tyranny as much as Lewes had. Lewes marched to the walls of Paris in 1380, and ordered his cannons to open fire. This was the beginning of the Battle for Paris.
Paris's walls were little more than rubble when England ceased firing. King Louis became impatient with the wait, and ordered his men to emerge from the city to engage with the English. King Lewes had been preparing for this, and he ordered his Culverins to open fire, cutting down the first wave of men at arms considerably. Lewes then ordered his knights to charge what remained of the swordsmen, and pull back to the rest of the army. The English, being seriously outnumbered, then began to march, under crossbow fire, to the French army. Spearmen charged first from the front and sides. This enclosed the French army, making a French cavalry charge nearly impossible. The English then sent in their men-at-arms, with a ratio of about 1:5, and ordered them to hold their ground, despite being tired and outnumbered. Lewes ordered his cannons to fire on the walls of Paris further left, causing them to collapse within a matter of minutes. Lewes and his knights then marched towards these walls, causing panic within the French army, some of which broke off of the main fight to join their King outside the town hall. This left the English men-at-arms with an easy victory at the walls, allowing them to push through the walls, although not moving into Paris itself. King Lewes was the first man through the gates of Paris into the city, leading the charge to kill any fleeing French soldiers, moving back to their king.
Lewes ordered his men to halt at the town square, staring across the huge open trading place at King Louis. They stood staring at one another for minutes, with Louis's knights then charging, attempting to kill Lewes. At that moment, the cannons which had been moving up the streets of Paris fired, cutting down the French knights, and killing them instantly. Lewes then charged, with the might of his army, personally killing King Louis in the fight, and capturing Paris for The Kingdom of England.
The Empire of England
Once Paris, and Louis, had fallen, England became the foremost, unchallengeable power in Europe. England took all of the French lands in France, leaving them only Milanese lands to reside in.
In 1080, England set out to become a peaceful trading Kingdom, with good relations with all of Europe, and prospering economically and technologically. After 20 or so years, England had launched one of the largest naval invasions ever seen in history. The Kingdom had learnt that it was easy enough to remain at peace with other nations, but for other nations to remain at peace was difficult, and England soon herself caught up in European conflicts that she could have easily avoided. It was due, however, to English brotherhood and the idea of lending a hand to friends that saw her become a European superpower.
By 1400, England had been at peace for a quarter of a century. In this time, she had built up populations back into the previously Scottish part of the British Isles, making the small Island the spearhead of Europe's finance, military and technology. During that time, England enjoyed growing relations with the Moors and the Pope, as well as an ever strong relationship with The Holy Roman Empire, whom had been the only one of England's allies not to later declare war on them, or break the alliance in some way.
England was not without her problems, however. Just before the Great Anglican war with France ended, a dreaded plague swept through Europe, crippling every nation's economies as well as military and even royal family. King Lewes the Conqueror, as he became known, was the only male in his family not to be affected or killed by the Plague. And with his age of 88 at the year of 1400, there are many who consider him to be somewhat of a Saint, just as they had with William the Conqueror before.
A larger, but more discreet problem that England was facing at this point, also, was a threat from the East far greater than any plague. It had the Mongols terrified, and they were the strongest power in the Middle East. This nightmare would grow to be the Timurid invasion, and would sweep through Europe's weaker states quickly. If England is to stand a firm chance of crushing the might of this power, then she will most likely have to swallow her pride, and go into diplomatic relations with the Mongols.
But with Europe entering what some are calling 'The Renaissance Era', England may have yet more power, as the first ship large enough to sail across the Atlantic had been built in Edinburgh in 1398, and England cannot wait to find out what is on the other side of the Earth that they live on.
It seems that The Kingdom Of England is only creating more challenges for itself the further it branches out into Europe, and if she is to keep this great Empire she has created, she will need to consider her priorities carefully. But for now, England can sit back and enjoy being the top dog of the world, for how ever long that may last.