The Great Game: End of the Twenty Years’ War

As might be expected, the peace treaty was harsh. The Ynglings had been at war, on and off, with the Poles for the best part of 800 years, and with most of Europe at one time or another in the last twenty; they had had enough. The Piast family was summarily dethroned and sent off to the salt mines, right down to the pregnant wife of Marcin, the last Piast king; the stril-books show that the last member of the dynasty died of pneumonia in 1885. A Governor-General selected by the Yngling ting was put in their place, to rule the new “Tributary Republic of Poland” – a rule supported only by Yngling bayonets and the crawling terror of the secret police. A new Polish army was built up, composed of Russians and Ukrainians with no cause to love their former overlords, and willing enough to be officered by Ynglings, so long as the pay was prompt. Polish officials, officers, and intelligentsia had in any case been largely wiped out during the truly vicious guerrilla campaigns that had subdued Poland proper, rising on occasion to the level of regular set-piece battles; those few that remained were now shipped off to exploit the untapped natural resources of Siberia.
The Polish risings had been matched in savagery, if not in weaponry, by the three-cornered struggle in Africa. The Yngling militias, victorious against the Polish regular troops, had found it impossible to control thousands of square miles of roadless jungle, but had not let that deter them from wiping out entire villages to spread the terror of their arms. Against proud Bantu tribesmen, this turned out to be a counterproductive tactic, and by the time regular troops – freed from the South American campaign by the Burgundian surrender – arrived, Norwegian control was reduced to the ground where the settler militias happened to be standing. Even two divisions of experienced Yngling regulars proved insufficient to control the insurgency that blazed in massacre and countermassacre across half a continent.

Africa, 1875
African Rebels
Man, there are a lot of these damn rebels…

Although the peace treaty put Poland firmly under the muscular thumb of its Yngling garrisons, the situation was less clear-cut in the tropics, where whites were few and far between. The desperate need to demobilise, while at the same time garrisoning Poland, guarding America and the long Norwegian coastline against English attack, and keeping hundreds of thousand of newly-imported strils under control, left Norway critically short on divisions for Africa. An accommodation was therefore reached with the Polish settlers and colonial officials, by which the two white empires would give mutual aid against the native rebels, and the Polish colonies were given a reasonable degree of internal autonomy – rather more so than Poland proper, in fact. In this way the rebellion was gradually brought under control, although at the price of literally decimating the native population.

From Berserker to Battleship : Norway 1066-1920, Bergenhus University Press.


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