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Thread: [DLV / DLV+BB AAR] Baltijos Imperija - A Lithuanian AAR

  1. #21

    Default Re: [DLV / DLV+BB AAR] Baltijos Imperija - A Lithuanian AAR

    Chapter III: The Crusade against Lithuania

    “(...) after all nations in the land of Prussia had been beaten and exterminated so that no one survived which did not humbly bend the neck to the Holy Roman Church, the aforesaid brethren of the German House initiated the war against that mighty people, most stubborn and well-versed in war, which is neighbour to the land of Prussia dwelling beyond the Nemunas river in the land of Lithuania.”
    Peter of Duisburg, chronicler of the Teutonic Knights

    Grand Duke Algimantas in 1188

    1188 seemed an auspicious year for Grand Duke Algimantas. He married his daughter Gabija to Medys, a Samogitian duke who had been one of his strongest supporters in the unification of Upper and Lower Lithuania. His second wife bore him a son, Butigeidis.

    1188, new family members

    And most importantly, the proud Curonians had finally submitted, allowing Algimantas now to send his military forces to regions within the Grand Duchy that weren't yet totally under his control. In August, Jaunutis marched against Ļaudona, a rebel stronghold in Northern Latgale.

    Meanwhile, the Teutonic Order was again ready to resume its fight against the pagans. On 26 September 1188, at the insistence of Grand Master Hermann von Salza, Pope Alexander III issued a papal bull declaring a crusade against Lithuania.

    Unlike twelve years before, the response of the Catholic Europe was not immediate. The first Christian monarch who answered the call was Baldwin IV, king of Jerusalem, whose realm was now at peace and secure; but it would take long for the Levantine crusaders to arrive in the Baltic.

    For the first year of the crusade, the Teutonic Order was reinforced with mostly German crusaders, mercenaries and fortune-seekers eager to be led into battle.

    During the winter of 1188 to 1189, the Teutonic Knights conducted several raids in southern Samogitia, along the border of the Neman River, while they assembled enough men for a full-scale invasion. The Teutonic Knights probably knew of the Lithuanian campaign in Curonia, and wanted to attack before the Lithuanians could recover and organise their defenses.

    After the outbreak of the crusader attacks, Algimantas sent a message to Jaunutis asking him to lift the siege of Ļaudona and come in full strength and with all haste to Anykščiai, about 65 miles north of the capital, where the Lithuanian forces were gathering. There they spent the winter waiting for the enemy to push deeper into the Grand Duchy's territory.

    In March 1189, a dispute about land grants arose between the leaders of the Order and secular soldiers led by a veteran crusader named Walther of Marburg. The number of Walther's followers rose to more than 2,000 men, who refused to participate in the campaign until their demands were satisfied.

    Not wanting to delay the attack any longer, on 12 March a 3000 men-strong war party under the command of Arnoldt von Gattersleben crossed the Neman near Kaunas and marched along the Neris River, raiding and plundering local settlements.

    The Knights found little opposition, and von Gattersleben decided to continue advancing toward Vilnius.

    Battle of Maišiagala (March 23, 1189)

    Near Maišiagala, about 15 miles northwest of Vilnius, The Teutonic Knights were intercepted by a Lithuanian army led by Grand Duke Algimantas and his two sons Gytautas and Jaunutis. The Knights were coming from Kernavė, which they had raided, and found themselves in a low terrain surrounded by soft elevations as the Lithuanian army, coming from the north, formed lines on a hillside.

    The Knights were slightly outnumbered by the Lithuanians, and both armies had a similar composition, but von Gattersleben was confident in the superior equipment, morale and discipline of his troops. At the time it was generally accepted among the Catholic commanders that the typically light infantry fielded by the Baltic pagans was no match in close combat for the Western heavy infantry and cavalry, and von Gattersleben had many knights and veteran crusaders in his army.

    There was on both sides a great number of missile troops, which were deployed in loose formation in the front line. The battle started with the usual missile exchange, during which the Lithuanian archers had a high ground advantage.

    Meanwhile, part of the Lithuanian ducal cavalry maneuvered around the crusaders' left flank and made a downhill charge that wiped out a detachment of crusader mounted knights.

    Von Gattersleben over-confidently ordered a full charge of his infantry and right-flank cavalry against the Lithuanian lines. The crusaders advanced on a wet and muddy field under a hail of arrows.

    Against von Gattersleben's expectations, the Lithuanian infantry resisted frimly the Teutonic assault. There was in the Pagan ranks a significant number of heavy foot troops, equipped with chainmail or leather scale armor, swords and large round shields, capable of stand ground against the crusader infantry.

    Algimantas' ducal cavalry killed or routed the crusaders' right-flank cavalry, and then turned around to charge the already engaged Teutonic infantry. Von Gattersleben was able to break the Lithuanian line with a charge of the powerful Teutonic heavy cavalry, but after an intense mêlée, the battle turned clearly in favor of the Lithuanians.

    The Teutonic commander was killed and the remaining crusaders surrendered.

    Last edited by Atli; February 09, 2013 at 04:47 AM.

  2. #22

    Default Re: [DLV / DLV+BB AAR] Baltijos Imperija - A Lithuanian AAR

    Very nicely done, Atli. Lithuania is one of my favourite factions to play, and is often neglected in AARs. You've obviously put a tremendous amount of time and research into this. The pictures are excellent, and your writing style is lucid and engaging. Looking forward to more!

  3. #23

    Default Re: [DLV / DLV+BB AAR] Baltijos Imperija - A Lithuanian AAR

    The Lithuanian military at the end of the 12th century

    Before Maišiagala, all historical sources indicate that the bulk of the pagan armies were unarmored archers and javelinmen who fought with axes and wooden clubs when close-quarters combat was unavoidable, or spearmen who were also unarmored or wore leather or fur armour, and that only their chieftains and a few wealthy warriors wore chainmail armour and wielded swords. The crusaders' defeats at Kaunas in 1178 and at Maišiagala in 1189 were explained in the Christian chronicles by the numerical advantage of the pagans, but these sources tended to exaggerate the size of the pagan Baltic armies, rendering the Christians' victories more glorious and their defeats less humiliating. A contemporary Teutonic account of the 1178 battle of Kaunas reports that the pagans outnumbered the 10,000-men-strong crusader force by more than 2 to 1; however, it is highly unlikely that the Aukštaitijans, Samogitians and Curonians could have fielded together more than 12,000 men in that battle.

    Rather, the tactics used by the pagans as well as their higher mobility and better knowledge of the terrain were more important than their numerical advantage. For example, according to the Gesta Lituanorum -generally considered a more reliable source regarding Lithuanian warfare than the Teutonic chronicles-, the 1178 battle of Kaunas started with a surprise attack on the crusaders while these were crossing the Neman and their forces were divided.

    In the case Maišiagala, two new factors came into play: an increase in quality of the Lithuanian military equipment and the higher number of well trained and disciplined troops. Chainmail armour had become more common, and the country was richer thanks to the direct access to the Baltic trade. Compared to Central and Western Europe, the Baltic region was sparsely populated, and this shift from quantity to quality in the Lithuanian military allowed to leave more men dedicated to productive tasks in times of war.

    The Lithuanian counter-offensive

    The Lithuanian victory shattered the confidence of the Teutonic Knights, who adopted a defensive stance and waited for the arrival of guest crusaders and mercenaries. Besides, the tensions between Walther of Marburg and Grand Master Hermann had intensified and threatened to become an armed confrontation.

    In October of 1189, Algimantas, at the head of 3,000 men, crossed the Neman and marched towards Ragainė, a Scalovian settlement on the southern bank of the river, which the Teutonic Knights had fortified and used as their military base for their campaigns into adjacent Samogitia. A large Teutonic force was stationed there, but at the approach of the pagans the Knights retreated to Königsberg, letting the fortification and the town fall in the hands of the Lithuanians without a fight.

    October of 1189

    Winter 1189-1190

    During the next two years there was no direct clash between the Lithuanians and the Teutonic Knights. Military operations were confined to small scale raids and skirmishes in North-West Prussia, a territory over which the Order lost almost all control, but Teutonic ships blocked all trade and supply movements on the Neman River. Algimantas' preparations to attack Königsberg were interrupted in the spring of 1192, when news came that an army of French crusaders was marching through Yotvingia towards Lithuania.

    Last edited by Atli; February 12, 2013 at 09:12 AM.

  4. #24

    Default Re: [DLV / DLV+BB AAR] Baltijos Imperija - A Lithuanian AAR

    Nice update. As always, you offer some excellent background information. I'd love to know what your favourite sources are. I know a couple good books on the Baltic Crusades (William L. Urban, etc.), but there don't seem to be very many. Anyway, the French are coming! I'm eagerly awaiting the upcoming clash.

    On a sidenote, how is it that Ragaine is a named PSF? I didn't think this was a feature of BB 4.23.

  5. #25

    Default Re: [DLV / DLV+BB AAR] Baltijos Imperija - A Lithuanian AAR

    Cyprian2, thanks for your comments!

    Unfortunately, besides some general history books, the only Baltic-specific book I have at home is Die Prussen ("The (Old) Prussians") by Gisela Graichen and Matthias Gretzschel. So most of the information about the ancient Balts, medieval Lithuania, the Lithuanian Grand Dukes, the Teutonic Order, etc., has been taken from different (more or less reliable) sources on the Internet, including online books and articles, forum discussions, Wikipedia, etc. Just a few examples:
    The Balts by Marija Gimbutas
    The cosmology of the ancient Balts by Vytautas Straižys and Libertas Klimka
    The formation of the Lithuanian State by Tomas Baranauskas
    The Scandinavian Baltic Crusades 1100-1500
    Lithuania Ascending: A Pagan Empire within East-Central Europe, 1295-1345
    The Chronicle of Prussia by Nicolaus von Jeroschin (a 14th century chronicle)

    Of course, as I said in my first post, I have adapted the historical data to reflect game events, so not all historical background mentioned should be taken literally.

    As for Ragainė, I've added the name with Photoshop. I try to relate each permanent fort with a real life castle/settlement, and in this case I decided to identify the fort with Neman (Ragnit in German, Ragainė in Lithuanian), because it had an important Teutonic castle, even though in real life it is not directly to the south but to the west-southwest of Raseiniai. I've also edited some screenshots to add more information in a single image or, for example, to show army sizes that (I hope) are more correct historically, etc.

  6. #26

    Default Re: [DLV / DLV+BB AAR] Baltijos Imperija - A Lithuanian AAR

    Thanks a lot for the links. Very nice sources, indeed. And, yeah, I could see that you were fudging the facts a bit to make an immersive and believable AAR, but I've heard it said that the best lies are often told with a shred of truth.

    Anyway, I look forward to the continuation of your AAR. And thanks again.

  7. #27

    Default Re: [DLV / DLV+BB AAR] Baltijos Imperija - A Lithuanian AAR

    Continuation of Chapter III: The Crusade against Lithuania

    Algimantas had to postpone his attack on Königsberg and hurried back with all his forces to defend Vilnius from the French crusaders.

    King Philip II of France was at the time dealing with urgent problems closer at home: his war against Count Robert of Flanders was in its third year, his recent alliance with Emperor Frederick was about to drag him into a war with the Lombard League as well, and Cathar heresy was spreading throughout the Languedoc. Under these circumstances, the French monarch could contribute to the Lithuanian crusade only with a relatively small force under the command of Guillaume V, Count of Lyon and Forez.

    On their way through Eastern Prussia, the French crusaders had passed near several Teutonic castles, where they learnt of the military situation on the Teutonic-Lithuanian border. In the castle of Lötzen, Guillaume de Lyon and the Teutonic commander Anselm von Gutenberg had agreed on a common strategy. Vilnius, which the crusaders believed poorly defended, was a tempting target, but Guillaume de Lyon considered that their first objective should be to defeat Algimantas' army. He would threaten the Lithuanian capital to force the Grand Duke to withdraw from Scalovia and allow the Teutonic Knights not only to retake their lost positions, but also to march east and destroy the Lithuanians with a simultaneous attack of the French and Teutonic forces. Even in the unlikely case that Algimantas would not withdraw to Vilnius, Guillaume would still not attack the city; instead, with the Knights' support, he intended to besiege the main Lithuanian army in Ragainė or defeat it on the battlefield.

    However, the coordination between the crusader forces was poor (a legend says that the messengers between the Teutonic and the French commanders were ambushed and killed by Yotvingian rebels). The Teutonic Knights did not even retake the undefended Ragainė, and no support was sent to the French crusaders.

    The battle of Vilnius, 11 April 1192

    Early in the morning of 11 April 1192, Algimantas arrived at Vilnius and and immediately marched against the 3,800-strong French army camped not far from the city walls.

    The Grand Duke's force was slightly smaller; more than half of it were archers and skirmishers, but he had 375 heavy cavalry, against the 217 mounted knights in the enemy lines. There were also several hundred well rested warriors of the Vilnius garrison ready to join the battle. On the other hand, more than one third of the French army were untrained common folk who had joined the crusade as a form of penance, driven by an intense religious piety and armed with clubs and other simple weapons.

    Guillaume de Lyon, not having received any news of Teutonic reinforcements, prepared to defend his position. He had chosen a place where the road, bordered by groves of trees, opened to a flat terrain where his cavalry would have enough room to maneuver. Algimantas delayed the attack for most of the day, expecting the Christians to make the first move. He wanted to avoid as many casualties as possible, since a too costly victory would force the Lithuanians again on the defensive against the Teutonic Order.

    Finally, in the late afternoon, the Lithuanians initiated the attack.

    The French army had adopted a conventional formation: a long infantry line, with the cavalry divided in two more or less equally strong wings protecting the flanks. Guillaume decided to use their siege engines as field weapons. The trebuchets were set up behind the infantry lines, while the shorter ranged onagers were mounted on wheels to be moved if necessary.

    Algimantas, on the other hand, had arranged his troops asymmetrically. His son, Gytautas, was placed in command of more than two thirds of the Lithuanian cavalry on the left wing.

    The Grand Duke himself with 100 elite riders of his personal guard protected the right flank.

    At the start of the battle, Guillaume sent his archers and mobile catapults to the front to cause greater damage on the approaching Lithuanians.

    The French engines used incendiary mixtures to hurl flaming missiles at the enemy side.

    Algimantas had brought about 1,200 archers, who, as usual, moved in loose formation to the front of the Lithuanian army. Close behind them were spearmen and swordsmen ready to push forward if the enemy attempted a charge. Guillaume de Lyon, seeing that his troops were suffering too many casualties from the high number of Lithuanian archers, grew impatient and ordered his mêlee infantry to advance.

    Then, Gytautas' powerful left cavalry wing was set in motion.

    It made a wide detour, partially masked by the trees, and suddenly fell on the French knights, killing a considerable number of them.

    This concentration of force using cavalry was one of the most common and effective tactics used by the Lithuanians in subsequent battles, as it allowed them to overwhelm and defeat an enemy flank quickly and with relatively few losses thanks to a local superiority in numbers.

    Meanwhile, Algimantas' cavalry wing neutralized the mounted Knights on the French left as the two battle lines clashed.

    While the rest of the Lithuanian left wing remained amongst the trees, Gytautas led his household riders in a sudden charge against the French artillery, attracting the attention of the French general. Gytautas then pretended a flight, and Guillaume chased him recklessly until the edge of the field. Suddenly, the rest of the Lithuanian cavalry emerged and surrounded the French knights.

    Guillaume de Lyon and his bodyguard were slaughtered.

    The strong crusader infantry pressed on stubbornly and killed many pagans, but the Lithuanian cavalry dominated the field behind them.

    Outflanked and surrounded by the Lithuanian cavalry, the Christians eventually started to flee in disarray. Algimantas ordered to pursue the survivors.

    Last edited by Atli; February 21, 2013 at 02:33 PM.

  8. #28

    Default Re: [DLV / DLV+BB AAR] Baltijos Imperija - A Lithuanian AAR

    How'd I miss this update?! Those damn Yotvingian rebels; they doomed the crusade.

    Your battle pics are simply stunning!

    Go Lithuania!

  9. #29

    Default Re: [DLV / DLV+BB AAR] Baltijos Imperija - A Lithuanian AAR

    The Norwegian invasion (1193)

    After the assassination of the Swedish king Knut Eriksson, the kingdom was contested between several claimants. A civil war broke out, and in 1179 Valdemar I of Denmark also raised claims to the Swedish throne. However, it was not until 1186 that the Danish invasion of Gautland started. On the other hand, Haakon II of Norway took advantage of the power vacuum in Sweden and marched from Jämtland, which he had conquered in 1178, into the Baltic regions of Medelpad and Hälsingland. In 1189, the Norwegians attacked Uppsala, entering an open war with Denmark.

    By 1192, after two unsuccessful Norwegian attacks on the strategic city of Kalmar, under Danish control, the war had stagnated. Norway held all of Svealand, but didn't have the strength to advance into the southern regions of Gautland and Småland. Most battles were fought for the control of key settlements along the coast, as both countries depended on the Baltic trade to fuel their militaries.

    Since the Lithuanian conquest of Curonia, the Grand Duchy was one of the main trade partners of Denmark. In 1193, Lars of Bogense, a Danish mercenary who fought for the Norwegians and had been raised to nobility for his merits during the war in Sweden, convinced king Haakon that, because of the crusader attacks against Lithuania, the Curonian coast would be poorly defended, and an easy target for a raid, if not even for a permanent occupation.

    On 23 March of that year, a Norwegian expedition of little more than 1200 men under Lars of Bogense landed in Curonia and captured the port of Ventspilis. Their next objective was the castle of Kuldiga, from where Algimantas' son-in-law Medys, now Duke of Curonia, governed the region. Duke Medys had acquired a reputation as a just and competent administrator, but he had been kept away from battle or any military action for a long time. Kuldiga was too lightly garrisoned to resist an attack of the full Norwegian force. However, Lars of Bogense divided his troops and sent only half of his men to besiege it.

    Having learnt of the Norwegian landing, Duke Gytautas and his personal guard rode hastily from Šiauliai to join Medys and organize the defense. He arrived in the morning of 29 March and found the Norwegian army at the gates of Kuldiga.

    Gytautas' arrival raised the defenders' morale, who sallied from the castle to meet the enemy.

    First defense of Kuldiga, 29 March 1193

    The Norwegians were famed for their solid infantry, and the besiegers of Kuldiga were -unlike the bulk of the Kuldiga garrison- all battle-hardened warriors, but they had brought no cavalry whatsoever.

    After two cavalry charges led by Gytautas and Medys, and a missile exchange -both the Lithuanians and the Norwegians included in their ranks a great number of javelin throwers-, the infantry lines engaged and the ducal cavalry attacked the Norwegians from behind.

    The Lithuanians suffered very few losses and inflicted a crushing defeat on the Norwegians.

    After the battle, Gytautas sent emissaries to the Norwegians who remained in Ventspilis with the message that they would be spared if they left immediately. Lars of Bogense realized too late his mistake of underestimating the Lithuanians, but he refused the offer. Whether it was due to stubborness or a sense of honour, he rallied his remaining troops -some 600 men- and laid siege to Kuldiga.

    Second defense of Kuldiga, 1 April 1193

    As in the previous battle, the Lithuanians took advantage of the enemies' lack of cavalry and used cavalry charges and the time-tested hammer and anvil tactics to achieve victory with very few casualties.

    Last edited by Atli; August 03, 2014 at 05:51 AM.

  10. #30

    Default Re: [DLV / DLV+BB AAR] Baltijos Imperija - A Lithuanian AAR

    The Levantine crusaders

    After the victory over the French crusaders in the battle of Vilnius on April 11, 1192, Algimantas resumed his offensive against the Teutonic Knights. The Order was weak and isolated, there was division within their ranks and the risk of a local revolt was high again. The Lithuanian Grand Duke was determined to take Königsberg before his enemies could recover, and began to gather forces at Ragainė.

    In February of 1193, the Lithuanians captured the fortified settlement of Labguva, just 30 miles northeast of Königsberg, but retreated again when the news arrived that an army of the Kingdom of Jerusalem was marching through eastern Lithuania towards Vilnius.

    The Levantines were under the command of Guy of Lusignan, Count of Jaffa and Ascalon and appointed heir to the Kingdom of Jerusalem. His army included many knights and veterans from the crusades in the Holy Land, as well as 120 Turcopoles. Despite their long road from the Holy Land, the crusaders were well equipped and highly motivated.

    Guy of Lusignan

    Battle of Vilnius, 13 March 1193

    On March 10, 1193, the 3400-men-strong crusader force came near Vilnius from the Southeast and camped outside the city gates. Jacques de Vitry writes in his Historia Hierosilymitana that the crusaders had expected to join forces with the Teutonic Knights in the assault of Vilnius. However, the fact that the Order was not able to send troops did not discourage them, since they were confident in their military superiority and expected now a greater share of the spoils of battle. On the other hand, Guy was aware of the proximity of the Grand Duke’s host and feared that the Lithuanian would fall in their rear if they attacked the city first, so he sent a detachment of Turcopoles to scout the enemy position.

    The Lithuanian main host, led by Algimantas and his two sons Gytautas and Jaunutis, numbered 3,600 men, of which more than half were light skirmishers and archers. In Vilnius, Gytautas’ 13-year-old son Liaubaras was in command of a 800-men-strong garrison. The Grand Duke led his troops to a hamlet at a on the outskirts of Vilnius, where the tree cover extended almost to the city walls, and hid part of his infantry in nearby woods.

    In the early morning of March 14, the crusaders initiated the assault on the Lithuanian camp.

    The Turcopoles rode in front shooting at the Lithuanian flanks, but the more numerous Lithuanian archers killed many of them and forced them to retreat.

    After the Levantine archers emptied their quivers, their infantry advanced still under missile fire. The Lithuanians' heavy javelins proved deadly at short range, but when the crusaders entered close combat, a great number of the lightly armored Lithuanian warriors fell to their spears and swords. The Lithuanian spearmen were barely able to check the enemy cavalry charges.

    Both sides fought fiercely, but the Levantines gained the upper hand. Then, the hidden Lithuanian infantry emerged from the woods and attacked the crusader flanks.

    Finally, Liaubaras arrived at the head of the city garrison. Liaubaras was killed in this action, but his arrival turned the tide of the battle definitely in favor of the Lithuanians.

    The battle still raged many hours among the shacks. Guy de Lusignan and his knights were surrounded and slain.

    Enraged at the death of his grandson, Algimantas ordered his cavalry to pursue and kill the fleeing enemies.

    Less than two hundred crusaders survived this battle. The Lithuanians lost more than one thousand men.

    Last edited by Atli; March 07, 2014 at 02:44 AM.

  11. #31

    Default Re: [DLV / DLV+BB AAR] Baltijos Imperija - A Lithuanian AAR

    Chapter IV: The Battle for Prussia

    “The Lithuanians were fortunate that everything was going their way whenever they campaigned against the Christians. So they once again assembled a great army and in the course of the same year, on the Day of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, came with it (…) and rampaged the length and breadth of the territory, looting and burning and causing great distress.”
    Nikolaus von Jeroschin, Chronicon terrae Prussiae

    The Lithuanian invasion of Eastern Prussia

    By 1193, several conflicts and tensions within Catholic Europe –like Emperor Frederick's Italian campaign, the spread of Catharism in southern France and the Bohemian succession crisis– had relegated the Baltic crusade to the background. Despite Frederick’s initial commitment, no military force under imperial banners arrived in the Baltic, and those Germans who wished to fight against the pagan Lithuanians had to do it as guest crusaders of the Teutonic Order. Paradoxically, the only Christian monarchs who answered the Pope’s call were too far from the Baltic to have any strategic interest in the region, while the Lithuanians’ closest neighbours adopted a more pragmatic policy and preferred to have them as trade partners and allies.

    It is unclear to which extent the crusades affected the relations between the Baltic polytheistic majority and the Christian minorities living in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Most historians mention the high degree of religious tolerance and peaceful coexistence of different cults in the Grand Duchy, even after the establishment of the Lithuanian state cult in the 13th century; ideas like holy war and forced conversion were strange to the Baltic pagan mind. In Upper Lithuania there was a considerable number of Orthodox Christian Slavs living mainly in the east and south, and at the latest since the times of Žvelgaitis the land had been open to merchants and craftsmen from Catholic Europe. Catholic and Orthodox Christians were also present even in the Grand Duke’s court as tutors, scholars and advisors.

    The situation in Lower Lithuania, on the other hand, was less harmonious: the Samogitians generally regarded Christians with mistrust and hostility. Being neighbours of the Order State, they had suffered many Teutonic raids and received a larger influx of refugees from Eastern Prussia, direct witnesses of the brutalities committed by the crusaders.

    Also, Catholic missionaries moved freely throughout Lower Lithuania since its annexation to the the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. However, many Samogitians were upset at the presence in their lands of those men of the cross who preached the faith of Christ, while foreigners waged war on them in the name of the same faith. The relative safety that Catholic laymen and clerics enjoyed had been long an important part of Algimantas’ foreign policy, a gesture of goodwill that even could be seen as a sign of his readiness to accept the Catholic faith, giving his Catholic neighbours –especially Poland– an excuse to refuse to participate in the crusade. This fine diplomatic balance would be broken if the Samogitians carried out violent actions against Christian priests. Algimantas believed that this could be averted only if the Teutonic Knights, whom he identified as the instigators of the crusades, were driven out from the Baltic.

    The victory over the Levantine crusaders at Vilnius was followed by a large mobilization of troops from all over the Grand Duchy. Algimantas even refused to send reinforcements when he learned of the Norwegian landing in Curonia, and only reluctantly allowed his son Gytautas to assist Medys with the defense of Kuldiga. In September, the Lithuanians initiated their invasion of Prussia.

  12. #32

    Default Re: [DLV / DLV+BB AAR] Baltijos Imperija - A Lithuanian AAR

    Very much enjoying these latest chapters, Atli. Surpised this AAR doesn't have more comments! I myself haven't been around lately due to computer troubles, but I plan to keep following this. I particularly like how you've made the narrative fairly seemless with actual Baltic history. You almost wouldn't know it's just a story. The crusader battles were epic. Don't those Jerusalem Christians have enough enemies to occupy them in the Levant? Well, I'm sure the Lithuanians won't see them again for a long, long time. Looking forward to the battle of Prussia!

  13. #33
    Marku's Avatar Domesticus
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    Default Re: [DLV / DLV+BB AAR] Baltijos Imperija - A Lithuanian AAR

    Keep this up please

  14. #34

    Default Re: [DLV / DLV+BB AAR] Baltijos Imperija - A Lithuanian AAR

    OK, whenever I think I'm going to have enough time to continue this AAR, real life keeps getting in its way. About a year ago I promised myself not to play more than 10 years (40 turns) ahead from the latest AAR update, as a measure to force me to write more often, but it has had the opposite effect... However, I still want to sack Ro- er... continue this campaign, and don't want to break my promise, so I'll have to continue writing.

    The Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem is doing pretty well actually, as can be seen on these maps from 1190 and 1193:

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