Alternative History

You'll notice that the descriptions of the crusades here do not match the timeline in the main Vinland page. It's a work in progress. --TheFuzzy 04:50, 1 Jul 2005 (UTC)

Greenland Crusade

Anyone have any ideas on which countries and groups would have joined a crusade against the Vinlanders? Columbus' obvious targets of recruitment were the Portuguese, Spanish and Genovese, and the Danish would be obligated to participate, but I'm not sure who else would have been interested.

Anybody who is well informed on 15th-century history is welcome to revise.

I guess the big question is what they would have to gain from going there. The mid-eastern ones help them regain the holy land (a strong symbol) and create christian kingdoms.
The danish reasons are quite evident due to their lhistorical inks. For the iberians, the basque or portuguese could be looking for a jump point after the azore to go further to the fishing banks and the founding of the inquisition could convince the spanish monarch to show his resolve against the ennemies of the church.
So, for the other european kingdoms, what could be interesting to them ?
I've done some thinking about that and come up with some ideas:
  • The Spanish would be interested for the same reason that they were, OTL, in Columbus' expedition; they wanted advantage over the Portuguese.
  • The Portuguese are interested because they want to protect their exisiting posessions in the Atlantic (some of which are not known to other Europeans) from Spanish conquest.
  • The Danish were interesting in protecting their title to Iceland and Greenland.
  • The Genovese were interested (as they were OTL) becuase of their long trade war with the Venetians.
  • Ferdinand I of Naples had been under pressure from Pope Innocent for some time to organize a crusade against the Turks. Fearing a war with France, and having lost every battle with the Turks to date, Ferdinand did not want to provoke another war with them. A Greenland crusade would allow him to get Innocent off his back without weakening his realm significantly, especially as ...
  • Ludovico Sforza and Charles VIII of France hatched a plan where they would encourage Ferdinand with the idea that France and Milan were committing major resources to the Crusade. This would ensure his participation because it would delay any war with France for a few years. Then, after he reduced the Napoli navy supporting the crusade, France would invade. This plan worked fairly well, and caused The Italian Wars to start a couple years earlier than they did OTL.
I'd like to find a couple more kingdoms/knightly orders/etc that might participate because I think that's the way it would have worked out in reality. More suggestions? --TheFuzzy 19:47, 2 Jul 2005 (UTC)
One interesting thing to consider would be the possibily of a paralel crusade (jyhad realy) by the ottoman empire.--Marcpasquin 16:23, 1 Jul 2005 (UTC)
Hmmm. I don't see why. Nothing in ATL so far significantly changes the balance of power or relations with the Ottomans. Nor would the Sultan consider the Vinlanders any less infidelous than the Europeans. --TheFuzzy 19:47, 2 Jul 2005 (UTC)
Basicaly the reason I suggeted this was that you would have all those european armies moving *away* from the middle east. Good time for the ottomans to stretch a bit into europe.--Marcpasquin 01:19, 3 Jul 2005 (UTC)
I don't see it just based on that. The Italian Wars wracked Italy from 1494 to 1559, which was a much larger expenditure of European resources, but the Ottomans did not even attempt to expand their holdings in Sicily.
Unless you know of events within the Empire where starting the Italian Wars two years earlier would have made a difference to the Turks? I'll admit that my history of the Empire is not fine-grained enough (pretty much "Lords of the Far Horizons" and that's it). --TheFuzzy 19:09, 3 Jul 2005 (UTC)
But the armies are still around and its possible to send a messenger. An attack could be answered by shifting troops. With large army sent oversea (especialy back then), they would be incomunicado until months later.--Marcpasquin 00:30, 5 Jul 2005 (UTC)
Well, I'm taking the perspective that changes to the OTL need to be driven by sufficent changes caused by the POD.
Fair enough--Marcpasquin 01:23, 8 Jul 2005 (UTC)
Since the Ottomans didn't react to the chaos in Italy in 1496, it seems unlikely to me that the relatively minor expenditure of resources in 1491 which the crusade represented would have affected Imperial politics.
A crusade such as you described (especialy an oversea one) would have been a *huge* expenditure and again,
Not really. Given the marginal likely gains, the resource commitment from the powers involved was quite small. The largest contingent was Spanish, and would have represented no more than 20% of their total Navy. Even the Naples "fleet" of 9 ships would have been only 1/3 of their large ships. The age of giant crusade armies was done, and the Europeans were looking for good ROI. --TheFuzzy 04:18, 8 Jul 2005 (UTC)
something which would have diverted resources from europe. The ottoman at the time were spreading already: they attacked venice in 1499 and had been spreading through the balkans in the last few decades. This would then be a good time to grab a few outlying states by whipping the holy warhorse.
Another interesting thing is that Sultan Beyazid II sent some ships to the iberian peninsula to help jews fleeing the inquisition. What this mean is that at the very least, the Sultan was keen on looking compassionate and open to others of different faith. With that in mind, he might have wanted to "help those under the heel of the catholic monarchs" (the protestant comes to mind.)
Obviously if this all goes against what you have plan, no worries.--Marcpasquin 01:23, 8 Jul 2005 (UTC)
Interesting. So, by 1496 Italy was collapsing in wars that swept the peninsula back and forth through to 1527. Any idea why the Ottomans didn't seize the opportunity? --TheFuzzy 04:18, 8 Jul 2005 (UTC)
Until the 19th century, the ottoman empire never allied themselves with other countries. To have interveaned in Italy in OTL would have put them against all the other factions in a land to which they have no particular attachement. they did however dispute the exact border with venetian ruled dalmatia wich lead to a few small skirmishes.--Marcpasquin
(as an aside, there was a philosophical connection between Islam and the Jews that I don't think would have existed with Odinists). --TheFuzzy 04:18, 8 Jul 2005 (UTC)
In the past some muslim have accepted zoroastrianists as "people of the book" (along with christians and jews) even though there is no direct link between it and islam. This mean that any monotheistic religion (which is what I understood it to be by the description given) could potentialy also be put into that category with a bit of creative philosophic musing
It occur to me incidently that my suggestion might have been misunderstood, the jyhad I spoke about wasn't intended to either go after the odinist or help them, it was meant as an oportunistic move to grab some european lands. In other words, instead of stopping at the balkans, they could have used the diversion as an excuse to launch further and pounce on the infidel a tad. Not overrun the whole of europe of course but maybe take some lands such as dalmatia or hungary.


Unless you know of something internal to the Empire where the three-year time difference in starting the Italian Wars would have made a critical difference, I just don't see an Ottoman invasion as a plausible result.
If you're keen on an Ottoman invasion,
Not realy my area in all honnesty, but go for it --Marcpasquin 01:23, 8 Jul 2005 (UTC)
why don't you start a timeline where the army which invaded Vienna was better led and less wracked by internal political conflict? They were beaten by an Austrian army 1/3 their size, after all. Had the Ottomans succeeded in conquering Austria, the Empire might have expanded for another century before it started to collapse. Of course, then we wounldn't have the cappucino, but you can't please everyone. --TheFuzzy 05:10, 6 Jul 2005 (UTC)

Portuguese Atlantic Possessions

One of the theories (of OTL) that I'm endorsing for this timeline is the idea that the Portuguese actually explored more of the Atlantic than they every publicly admitted in the 15th century. Thus the Portuguese of 1490 had already visited a couple of islands in the Carribean, and suspected the existance of an new continent in the Atlantic. This is the reason that they turned Colombo down flat, yet why they needed to participate in the Crusade.

I don't understand this. If Portugal knows that it does not need a to sail via a Northern rout to reach this mysterious new land (or islands), why do they feel compelled to go to war with the Greenlanders? --AirshipArmada 18:37, 1 Jul 2005 (UTC)
Mostly because (see above) the Portuguese were afraid that the Castillians would use the crusade as an excuse, for example, to land in the Azores and sack them. More importantly, in ATL, the Portugese leased a small colony/trading post with the Danish on otherwise-deserted Iceland, a fact that was secret to the Spanish and Italians. Since they did have plans for finding and exploring this mysterious Western Continent, it was also in their interest for the Spanish to devastate the Vinlanders, if it could be arranged for the Spanish to take the brunt of the casualties. More to come! --TheFuzzy 19:52, 2 Jul 2005 (UTC)

China vs. India

One thing I'm not clear on. OTL, Columbo (Columbus) was convinced that he had discovered India, not China. Yet China would have been known through overland trade to be east of India, so wouldn't discovering China by sailing West seem more likely?

Or were Europeans completely unclear on Asian geography, and/or unclear on the difference between India and China? --TheFuzzy 16:29, 1 Jul 2005 (UTC)

He didn't think he was in mainland India, he thought the caraibeans were the Indies (the island in south east-asia)--Marcpasquin 16:46, 1 Jul 2005 (UTC)
Also, wasn't "India" in those days used to mean simply "Asia"? -- Nik

Routes and Locations

I could use some help on sailing routes. If a primarily Iberian fleet were to gather for a voyage to Iceland, where would they assemble? Bilbao? And how would they sail there? Via Dublin? Somewhere else? --TheFuzzy 19:59, 2 Jul 2005 (UTC)

Franco-Milanese Invasion

You probably should have them give some sort of excuse as to why they would invade. No matter what their true intentions are, heads of states tend to at least pretend not to be two-faced back stabbing bastards.

Common excuses are that they were invited in (just make some promises to part of the local nobility) or to "protect" the land against some vague external threat (such as the ottoman infidels). In a pinch, this can be the result of some vague insult they felt they must avenge.--Marcpasquin 16:46, 1 Jul 2005 (UTC)

I don't need an excuse. They did, in 1494 OTL.
I wasn't talking about the real excuse, I meant the explanation they gave. I doubt they would have invaded and said "Hi there, you seemed vulnerable and we decided to invade you 'cause we could".--Marcpasquin 00:30, 5 Jul 2005 (UTC)
OK, I see. Reason added. --TheFuzzy 05:35, 7 Jul 2005 (UTC)
See the Italian Wars. I just moved it up a couple of years, which seems reasonable given the changed events of the Congress of Princes. FYI, the reason for the invasion was that Charles VIII had some sort of historical claim on Naples, and Sforza was trying to take Genoa and Venice down a peg.
What might change, ATL, is the Spanish invasion if Italy in 1525. In ATL, the Spanish are committing significantly more resources to the Crusade than they did to Columbus, and they won't end up getting shiploads of gold out of it. --TheFuzzy 19:06, 3 Jul 2005 (UTC)

Vinland just nearly surviving the 3rd crusade...

"After a brief tussle, Saemundr was send to the {temple of Odin} for medical care and Haraldr was in charge of the Norse forces." Of course Haraldr will lose the battle; his army being eliminated by crusading musketeers in open battle. I can imagine the Norse will fall back on the tactics of Seamundr, just as the Romans did fall back on the guerillatactics of Fabius Maximus after the Roman army was decimated by Hannibal during the Battle of Cannae. The Norse might be able to slowen the invasion of the crusades by using guerilla tactics, till Seamundr manages to replicate European firearms. The Norse firearms will not be proven decisive, as they will certainly be poor in quality, but might break the morale of the crusaders, as victory will seem further away than the coming winter will be.

  • With the crusaders on the retreat, the Norse will be able to recover and even to reconquer some of their the lands lost to the crusaders. A fourth crusade will be a total failure, as the Norse will then have adopted the gun power technology in their navy.
  • In the early 17th century the Pagan Norse will find themselves helping the Anglican British and the Calvinist Dutch against the Roman Catholic Spanish Empire of Philip II, thus ending Spanish and Portugese rule of the seas. Greenland is retaken as a rally-pont for the Vinlandian fleet en route to Europe.
  • In the 18th and 19th century the British seapower will rise but also be crushed by an alliance of the Dutch and the Norse. Not being hindered by Christian morale, scientific practices are more widespread in Vinland than in Europe, thus leading to a great understanding of navigation, geography, physics and chemistry. Soon they do not need the weak and rigid Dutch for their survival, and fast, steam powered Norse ships are to be seen - and to be feared - al over the seas. Yet, despite the influx of many immigrants and the conquest of many territories Vinland remains rather small in population, and thus being unable in becoming more than just one of the Western / European powers deviding the world. On the other hand, Vinlandian democratism (the Alting) heavely influences European politics, leading to many revolutions, including in the Russian Empire in 1848. In 1858, a Vinlandian explorer named Knud the Cunning is the first to reach the south pool, on the occasion saying "well, back to the ships than."
  • By 1900 Vinland has become the first welfare-state in the modern world, attracting even more immigrants. Being heavily influenced by Christian immigrants, Vinland no longer is a Pagan state. But still, paganisme forefill a key role in Norse society, and the open mind to science remains. After Norse tradeships being attacked by German submarines, Vinland enters the First World War. After the submarines being found and destroyed by sonar equipped Norse vessels, and Axes' ports being levelled by Norse cruisers, the Axes surrendered to the allies and were forced to sign the dictate of Versailles (opposted by the Vinland Alting as beging 'the way to cause another world war').
  • Vinland entered the second world war when Denmark and Norway, both allied with Vinland in the Nordic Bond, was attacked by Adolf Hitler's Third Reich. Vinland manages to annihilate the German fleet, but soon had to withdraw their fleet to the Pacific, as the fleet of the Incan Impire (another ally and trade partner of Vinland; never been conquered by Spanish conquistadores) was being attacked by Japan. In 1943 the Sowjet Republic (founded in 1848 by Russians and Turkmens after exiling the Tsar family) finally defeated the Nazi's and conquered Europe; Japan ceased hostilities and 'changed political course' as Vinland demonstrated the nuclear bomb 15 km above the lands near Tokyo after the annihilating 100% of the Japanese fleet in a combined Norse - Incan offensive.
  • Modern age: After the Second World War, the Sowjet Republic expended with many new member states and became the ultimate superpower in the world, only being challenged by Cheng Kai Cheks Nationalists China. Japan, especially after joining the Sowjet Republic in 1968, boomed into an economic and technological wonder. But Vinland kept on ruling the waves and still remained ahead in science.

In 1971, Norse astronaut Hagard Olafsson was the first to step on the moon, saying "hereby the first step of man in the conquest of the seas of space." This was just 2 months before cosmonauts Johan Vergeer and Svetlana Kislich stepped on the moon in a mission of the Sowjet Republic. In 1972 Vinland and the Sowjet Republic founded the International Space Aviation Trust (ISAT), and declaired a man will be put on Mars before the end of the century. Already in 1998, during an international mission led by the ISAT, Shaka Mbesi was the first to step on Mars.

So guys, what do you this about this...?