Alternative History

The Kalmar Union, KU, Scandinavian Alliance, is a defensive alliance of various sovereign states and their dependencies.

Flag of the Kalmar Union (2013- )

Historically, the Kalmar Union was a hereditary empire of sorts, created in 1431 when Eric VIII of Denmark inherited Denmark and Estonia from his father Eric VII, and Viken, Svealand and Finland from his mother Elizabeth. Other Scandinavian and Baltic countries accepted Denmark's over-lordship either through fealty to Denmark, family ties, or simple political imperatives. This differentiates it from the other European supra-national leagues, Francia and the Holy Roman Empire, as it never was a single unified state. And unlike those, the Kalmar Union can usually be trusted to act in a unified manner.

The familial aspect of the union began to breakdown as both Lade and Svealand repeatedly rejected union with Denmark during the 15th and 16th centuries. Svealand had been happy under Viken's rule as it was allowed to continue its own path almost uninterrupted but Denmark took a more controlling view. The War of Anglian Succession also pushed the Union to breaking point as Kalmar troops were plunged into the most prolonged and bloodiest European campaigns since the Mongol Wars. Bankruptcy plagued Denmark in its latter stages and helped push Svealand, Viken and Lade into open rebellion. However, the alliance survived, mainly due to the severe religious division of Europe.

Later the Kalmar umbrella was extended to Northern Germany as Denmark took central role within the Schmalkaldic Empire and it played an important role in shaping North-East Leifia giving assistance to the Protestant League of Leifia.

Fully Sovereign Kalmar Union Member Nations
Country Capital Flag Current Head of State Population
Abernakriga Wolinak Flag of Abernakriga (The Kalmar Union).svg.png Hafdis Obomsawin 1,359,000
Aismark Jece Flag of Aismark (Kalmar Union).svg.png Prince Pojoy II 2,197,900
Anglia Lincoln Flag of Anglia (The Kalmar Union).svg.png King William V 17,134,000
Denmark Copenhagen Flag of Denmark.svg King Christopher X 15,507,000
Estonia Tallinn Estonian alternative flag proposal.svg Duchess Eliisabet II 750,000
Finland Helsinki Flag of Finland (The Kalmar Union).svg.png King Karl III 4,635,000
Gothenland Goteburg Flag of Gothenland (The Kalmar Union).svg.png King John VII 1,900,350
Hordaland Bergen Flag of Hordaland (The Kalmar Union).svg.png King Haakon IX 1,085,500
Iceland Reykjavik Flag of Iceland (The Kalmar Union).svg.png Magnus Thorfinnson 300,750
Karelia Äänislinna Flag of Karelia (The Kalmar Union).svg.png Duke Edvin 452,350
Ladish Confederation Trondheim Flag of Lade (The Kalmar Union).svg.png Pekka Olli 1,320,000
Man Douglas Flag of Man (The Kalmar Union).svg.png King Eric V 5,758,344
Orkney Kirkwall Flag of Orkney (The Kalmar Union).svg.png Earl Haakon X 167,735
Passamaquoddia Quispamis Flag of Passamaquoddia (The Kalmar Union).svg.png King Qonas III 5,294,923
Saaremaa Kuressaare Flag of Saaremaa.svg.png Grand Duke Jaan IV 153,750
Svealand Stockholm Flag of Svealand (The Kalmar Union).svg.png King Gustav IX 3,015,450
Vinland Isafjordhur Flag of Vinland (Kalmar Union).svg.png Queen Kristjana IX 9,794,100
Ynys Mons Llangefni Flag of Ynys Mons (The Kalmar Union).svg.png King Eric V 61,250
Álengiamark St. Hafdiss Flag of Alengiamark.svg.png Queen Thorey VII 13,093,400

The Kalmar Union on the world map


The First Kalmar Union

Olaf III, 'the Great'

Olaf III the Great, King of Viken, laid the foundations of the future union. He was already Prince of Rugia and King of Viken when he conquered Svealand in 1333. His grand-daughter Elizabeth of Viken not only inherited the territories of the House of Rugia but married the heir to the Danish kingdom too. Their son, Eric VIII, was expected to inherit the entire collection on his parents' deaths. However securing his right to inherit such a grand empire required delicate negotiations. Finally in 1431 in the Gothenlandic town of Kalmar the diplomats of Denmark-Svealand-Viken, Gothenland and Hordaland signed the Kalmar Treaty. Eric's right to rule was secured. A defensive alliance was created between the three, to which other Nordic states soon clamoured to join.

The Second Union (Imperial Kalmar)

Flag of the Schmalkaldic Empire

By the time it led the Schmalkaldic League to victory over the Catholic Emperor Denmark was clearly the pre-eminent power of Northern Europe, even though its directly ruled territory had shrank thanks to revolts in Lade and Svealand. It would only be a matter of time before the Schmalkaldic League transformed itself into a rival empire, and King Cnut III was proclaimed Emperor in 1558.

Cnut granted all the same rights and privileges to the Schmalkaldic Empire's members as they enjoyed under the Holy Roman Emperors except all Catholic institutions were removed. Gothenland, Hordaland and Man joined the Empire alongside Denmark as Electorates. Lade and Svealand stayed outside, allied as part of the Kalmar Union but not under the Emperor's control. The military capacity of the Schmalkaldic Empire was totally underpinned by Kalmar support and its troops saw wide action as it engaged renegade armies.

But as Kalmar narrowed its sights to the situation in Germany and the inevitable showdown with the Holy Roman Empire it lost the support Anglia and the Leifian states.

The Third Union (Rump Kalmar)

Old flag of the Kalmar Union (c.1450-2013)

After the disintegration of the Schmalkaldic Empire during the Fifty Years War a complete breakdown of the Kalmar Union seemed imminent. Gothenland, compromised by its Prussian holdings (Poland-Lithuania was technically its overlord there), had already sent several official notes of protest at Denmark's increasingly overbearing and unilateral actions, while others had expressed concern over how much (or how little) reward they were receiving for their own efforts. And although Svealand remained allied with Denmark it continued to operate separately in the field. Indeed, the Treaty of Copenhagen which ended the war mostly ended up benefitting Denmark. Svealand was so displeased with the small gains it received in comparison to its efforts during the war that it withdrew fully from the Kalmar sphere.

Elsewhere, Anglia would rejoin the union, hoping the union would assist it in regaining Fryslân but continued its extreme dislike for involving itself in European struggles. The alliance's slow, disorganised and almost useless efforts during the Kalmar-Wessex War (1686-1701) led many historians to regard it as a 'rump' and a mere shadow of its former self, despite its eventual victory. And through the next century the misery continued to pile up. Denmark was soon in civil war. Hordaland was embroiled in ever more desperate actions to hold on to its Irish lands. The Katla eruption in Iceland in 1755 almost destroyed the country as a functioning state.

The middle 18th century saw the War of the League of Arcachon (1743-1752) and Mexica's defeat was almost solely thanks to heavy Portuguese involvement. It was no wonder that when Svealand felt it could take on Novgorod, Poland-Lithuania and the Holy Roman Empire on its own during the Great Baltic War (1761-1774) it largely discounted its old Kalmar partners as a force to be reckoned with. With Svealand's armies triumphant, and marching on Krakow and Prague with little opposition, the Holy Roman Empire called on Kalmar to intervene. Denmark and Anglia, desperate to reassert some degree of power after a miserable century, answered the call, making a series of lucky victories that would lead to Svealand's defeat and a resurrection of the Union's fortunes.

The Fourth Union

Created in 1774 in the aftermath of the Great Baltic War the Fourth Union immediately proved its worth by collectively declaring war on Mexica during the 2nd Mexic-Leifian War (1774-1792). It made great strides to allow its armies to work together smoothly and in 1811 setup a central admiralty to co-ordinate a new combined navy.

It sent a large group of Estonian and Gothenlandic mercenaries to help pacify North-East Leifia during the protracted 'Leifian Crisis'. With a new combined navy it virtually eradicated piracy in the North Atlantic and paved the way for the members to gain trading footholds on the Indian subcontinent.

During the Iberian Revolution Kalmar forces constantly harassed and hampered Del Olmo's plans and although Pomerania was lost to his great advance in 1833 Kalmar was a vital part of the massive Battle of the Prussian Marshes that ensured his eventual defeat.

And by the middle of the century the armies, drilled to the same standards and working together, could successfully defend both Brandenburg and the North German coast from Austria and the Empire during the 1st Imperial-Kalmar War (1842-1850).

While Kalmar slowly advanced towards Prague and Leipzig, Finland was taking huge chunks of territory from Novgorod. Fearing that Novgorod would collapse entirely allowing Tver and Vladimir to fill the gap, Kalmar would eventually reign in Finland, making it agree to a less harsh treaty and allowing Novgorod space to reform and resist its southern neighbour's demands.

The 2nd Imperial-Kalmar War (1895-96), the last European general war, was equally well fought and cemented Kalmar's dominance over Northern Europe.

It is currently involved in several overseas campaigns, the Portuguese campaign being the most important.

The Future

Several countries are expected to join the Kalmar Union over the next decade. Chief among them are Kanienmark, Algonquinland and Lüneburg. Portugal is already a de facto member as its legitimate government and monarchy is almost solely supported by the Kalmar presence in Portugal. A withdrawal of troops from there would undoubtedly cause a collapse in the monarchy and a revolutionary republican government coming into power.

In Denmark itself the Pomeranian 'situation' continues to dominate and skew politics there, as well as provide a huge stumbling block to normal relations with the Holy Roman Empire. Finland has been reportedly (and scandalously) making plans for the aftermath of the collapse of the faltering but still very much functioning Novgorodian state. Meanwhile in Leifia the Kalmar states are locked into a vastly expensive arms race with Mexica that does nothing but further ratchet up the tension on the continent.

Aside from that many would like to see a closer working relationship with all states along the lines of a federation. This would include disbanding the local armies and fully integrating them all into a real unified force as per the navy. A mooted united government, with a unified legislative chamber, would, the argument goes, not only reign in many of the wilder elements but provide a more public forum for the discussion of common elements rather than the secretive to-ings and fro-ings of the states' foreign ministries, as well as making the Alliance a more effective force. Critics however point to the severe inertia of both the Francian Parliament and the Imperial Diet as arguments against this.

The Navy

The Central Admiralty is in Copenhagen which co-ordinates the deployment of the navy and building of the newer vessels. The design academy and testing harbours are located in Saaremaa which has historically had a tradition of excellence in boat building.

The navy is currently going through its largest expansion since the Great Baltic War. The new range of Tyr class battleships form a considerable part of both the naval budget for the Union and the arms race with various other nations. However, the oil-powered versions that Luxembourg and Mexica (although not confirmed, all signs point to Mexica having a considerable 'Tyr'-style fleet) are producing have a much larger operational range. Although Kalmar can probably rely on oil from Aniyunwiya and Erie securing supplies of its own are of great military importance and are guiding diplomatic strategies. Several national governments have demanded Kalmar production of Tyr-class warships outpaces that of Luxembourg, its nearest rival. Saaremese technicians are also making rapid advances in submarine technology and it is safely assumed that Kalmar has the largest and most advanced submarine fleet.

The Kalmar navy has various major bases around the globe:

  • Baltic: Copenhagen (Denmark) & Stockholm (Svealand)
  • British Isles: Skalpaflo (Orkney)
  • Arctic: Murmanborg (Lade)
  • North Atlantic: Kristjanaborg (Álengiamark) & Eyfinna (Vinland)
  • South Atlantic: Austurfjordinn (Alkafuglaeyjar)
  • Indian Ocean: Hannahsdort (Anglian Indian Ocean Islands)
  • Roasjoinn: Rebekkastadt (Svealandic Australische)

Vinland, Álengiamark and Aismark still have their own navies which fly their own flags, though this is more to do with trying not to antagonise Mexica than any notion of national pride.