12 Military Plans
Frederick looked out over the city of Stolitz, it truly deserved its name as the city of lights. Even though it was currently night, the city was illuminated by the various streetlights that dotted the roads. It was just as busy as during the day and in some parts of the city, it was even busier.
"Your Highness, you should not stand outside for too long, it is rather cold tonight."
"Phillip, it should be alright, I'm wearing quite a few layers as is. I just wanted to admire the night view. It is rather beautiful isn't it?" Frederick responded as he walked back inside from the balcony.
"Yes, Your Highness, I have been here for almost three months now and I still sometimes stop and stare at it."
"Right, Phillip how is the situation in Stolitz? Is everyone okay with my plans?"
"Yes, there are no problems here. All those who were against us have quietened down after Leopold had the city surrender to us."
"Oh, speaking of Leopold, where is he now? I have not seen him yet, Bertrand said he would bring him over as soon as possible, but it has already been a few hours since." Frederick inquired.
Frederick and his guards arrived in Stolitz only a few hours earlier. Their arrival caused a stir amongst the citizens and many came out to see their Prince. After all, Frederick had never been to Stolitz before and the citizens were curious as to what their Prince looked like. He noticed there were many women, young and old waiting by the side of the road hoping to catch a glimpse of him. In a good mood, Frederick had decided to get out of the carriage and ride into the city.
Bertrand was a well-known figure in Stolitz and so his appearance calmed down the crowd. They knew something big was going to occur, since the Count left Stolitz with three thousand of his own men, but seeing Bertrand return unharmed and with the Prince made everyone sigh in relief.
Frederick had made his way to the castle, where the von Harts lived in, it was situated in the north-east of the city and was in a very defensible location. It occupied the highest position in the city and was surrounded by a wide moat. It would take many men and many days to breach this stronghold.
Stolitz was a major population centre in Erlitz. As the largest city in the north it held a population of an estimated eight-hundred thousand people. With the River Stolitz running straight through the city, it was divided into two halves. The southern half, which he came through was mainly the residential and industrial area for the poor to middle class citizens. The other half was divided into two sides, the east where the castle sat, was also the location of the many manors of the various nobles and where the well-to-do citizens lived. The west was mainly a merchants' quarters and for other shops and foundries of higher-level industry and crafts.
Stolitz was a well-designed city that had organically grown and expanded over time and the Counts had successively accommodated the expansions in order to maintain the orderliness of the city. Which was a massive contrast to Erlangen. As the capital of the country, originally it was not supposed to be so haphazard however, over the years with rapid population growth, the government had simply given up and instead designated entire areas rather than micromanage the entire master-plan for the city. As a result, the outskirts of Erlangen had become rather a big mess and resembled a maze in certain areas.
Frederick looked over at Phillip and waited for his answer. Normally, Phillip would have replied in a heartbeat, yet it appeared he was hesitating over something.
"Phillip? Is there something wrong?"
"No, Your Highness, it is just that I saw Bertrand and Leopold leave the castle earlier. It appeared they were heading in the direction of the, uh, red light district." Phillip responded with a slight cough.
Frederick cracked a smile and laughed aloud as he realised the implications of what Phillip had said.
"Ah, so it appears they have certain needs to be fulfilled. In that case, I shall forgive him this time. However, Phillip I trust that you had men follow them to make sure there isn't anything more to the story?"
"Yes, Your Highness, it would not be unexpected for them to be planning something. I will let you know as soon as they report back." Phillip answered before he bowed and left the room.
Frederick looked outside once again before he asked a servant to bring him some food. As the food came in, he sat there and pondered over his next step in his plan to reform Erlitz.
There were two things that came into mind.
One, reform the military. As other countries were adopting a professional military, Erlitz was still operating under a feudal system, where each lord was obligated to raise a force themselves. This made it highly inefficient and spread resources out too thin across the country, making it very difficult to coordinate armies.
He could adopt, like Weser the Prusen model but he felt it was still a work-in-progress model and was not as good as the hybrid model he had devised using his modern knowledge. He still used the Prusen model as a base but supplemented it with his own ideas.
It would be a fairly simple twelve rank system. With Field Marshal at the top and then private right at the bottom. The current system in place was a mish-mash across the different territories and militaries of Sophia, Franz, Albert and his own Royal Forces. Of course, the title of Field Marshal was not a formal rank, but merely a position that a General could be appointed to in the event of a war. So, the highest rank during peace time would be General, followed by Lieutenant General, Major General, Brigadier, Colonel, Lieutenant Colonel, Captain, Lieutenant, Sergeant, Corporal and then Private.
Although it did not strictly follow modern military organisations which had more ranks in between some of the others, this was a much simpler and flatter structure that a newly formed army could rapidly adapt to. After all, he could always expand the system at a later date and would probably need to revise it if problems cropped up and would be dependent on his advisor's inputs.
The Prusen system was a little more complicated as it had used the Iberian and Svean systems as their base. Iberia had been the first to come up with the rank of colonel, as King Alfons VI about a hundred years ago had decided to create a large imperial army that could take on any of the regional nobles in his own country. As such he needed higher ranks and a few more to pad out the middle, which was where came up with a colonel. The Iberian army was a mix of the professional Imperial Guards supplemented by mercenary bands and so their military organisation was not very suited towards a professional standing army that Pruse sought to create.
As a result, they had supplemented the Iberian model with the Svean system. In his preparation for his southern campaign King Gustav II of Svea reorganised his army and created brigades. Previous systems had divisions and battalions that were pure infantry, cavalry or artillery and only at the army level would they be mixed. However, Gustav believed this was inefficient as it was vital for the prowess and cohesion of an army to be coordinated and as such, he created a mixed force which he named a brigade.
Although Svea suffered a crushing defeat to Pruse fifty years ago, it was not the fault of their military but political factors that sabotaged the war efforts. As such, Pruse upon victory, immediately embarked upon a military reorganisation taking in the various lessons learnt in the war and used it as a base to create a new system.
The Prusen system was currently the best model across all of Agenor. Which was also why its Royal Prusen Military College was such a prestigious location and many nobles across Agenor desired to enter its hallowed doors.
However, reforming the organisation was not enough, Frederick also needed to ensure that his armies had the best and latest technologies. Erlitz still used flintlock muskets which were popular nearly eighty years ago. However, after the war between Svea and Pruse, the Prusens came up with the latest techniques of rifling. As such their army had the far superior rifles and had kept the techniques a secret from the rest of Agenor. Although they had concluded various alliances and treaties with friendly countries such as with Weser, they merely sold the weapons.
Of course, many nations had tried to reverse-engineer the weapons, but without proper understanding of firearms and the experts necessary to create these pieces, many nations simply continued to produce or import muskets.
Since it was the early ages of rifles, they held the same disadvantages as muskets when it came to being reloaded, as they were still front loaded. However, rifles were far more accurate and could shoot at a further distance than muskets which made it the superior weapon.
Frederick had always been fascinated by firearms especially when he was introduced to them by his bodyguard Sam. He had read up and followed the history and development of firearms avidly in his spare time. However, knowing something in one's head is not the same as being able to replicate it in real life.
After all, just because Frederick knew how to build a computer, it did not mean when sent to another world he could just pull one out of thin air. He did not have the components, nor the means to power such a thing, it would be easier for him to reinvent the wheel than to recreate the internet or a computer.
There were the obvious technological, social and cultural constraints to the various ideas, technologies and reforms that Frederick wished to enact. As a result, he needed to lay the groundwork and build up a foundation upon which he could roll out the extensive programme he had planned for Erlitz.