War of Insolence
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United Provinces of Knootoss
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Second War of Insolence
|First War of Insolence Summary|
|Date:||March 1665 –July 1667|
|Locations:||Pantocratorian Archipelago, Knootian East Indies, Knootoss|
|Military:||10,000 (estimated) dead|
|Civilian:||1,000 (estimated) dead|
|United Provinces of Knootoss||Pantocratoria|
Admiraal Johannus Hendrykxx
| Manuel III Comnenus|
Strategos Taticus Chrysoloras
It is speculated by modern historians that Manuel III Comnenus started the First War of Insolence to prove that he wasn't a weak, powerless man, even though his muscle wasting disease left him physically powerless. The Pantocratorian Emperor declared war on the United Provinces in January 1665; the Knootians in turn declared war on the Empire on March 4, 1665.
There was great hope in Pantocratoria that this war would end the Knootian dominance in world trade and privateers began to attack Knootian merchant ships in the Atlantic, capturing about 200 of them initially. The Knootians were at the zenith of their power at the time, and very well prepared for war. During the war itself they greatly extended their navy by ordering eighty new warships. Pantocratoria could only build a dozen which were technologically inferior, especially as they did not use modern navigation techniques until 1703. The outbreak of war was followed ominously with the Great Famine of 1665 in Pantocratoria
The first source of tension between the two nations began much earlier, with the Christmas Conjuration massacre of Dutch Reformed Knootians in New Constantinople which took place on Christmas Day 1590. During that time the fledgling Republic was still very much embroiled in its war with Lavenrunz and unable to do anything about it but when news of these events reached Europe there was general outrage in the protestant north. In 1665 the Knootians had just entered their first Stadtholderless era and the Staten-Generaal had all-encompassing power without any noble House to lead them. One of the prominent members of the Staten proudly declared that "Knootoss is now building a Christian empire across the seas that will outlast the pagan Roman Empire by a thousand years." This, coupled with repeated assertions by Dutch Reformed theologists that the Roman Catholic Church was not Christian, did much to offend Pantocratorian religious beliefs and ethnic pride.
The first encounter between the nations was at sea. The war started with the Battle of the Spices, where the Pantocratorian main fleet hunting for a homebound convoy of the Knootian East India Company stumbled right into the mainstay of the Knootian fleet heading for their homeland. They achieved complete surprise, and gained a great victory and ruled their part of the Atlantic for over a year. They failed to take advantage of this however, and the Spice Fleet from the Knootian East Indies that they had been hunting for managed to return home safely. For every warship the Pantocratorians built, the Knootians wharfs turned out seven. Manuel III Comnenus attempted to fund a Catholic uprising in the southern province of Brabant, bribing Knootians into rising up against their Dutch Reformed masters in the north. But the ragtag peasant army was more of a nuisance than a real threat and it was quickly crushed. In the spring of 1666 the Knootians had rebuilt their fleet with much heavier ships. A new confrontation was inevitable.
This new confrontation came in the huge Battle of Demetriopolis in 1666, which was one of the shortest major naval engagements in history. The Knootian admiral Johannus Hendrykxx led a massive Knootian fleet to harass Pantocratorian coastal towns with the objective of drawing out and destroying the Pantocratorian main fleet in the port of Demetriopolis. After engaging at long range the admiral retreated quickly, sinking forty three Pantocratorian ships (and drowning thousands of sailors) and leaving parts of Demetriopolis burning while losing only two ships himself. Both sides claimed victory in this battle.
Administrative difficulties in the Pantocratorian Navy continued whilst a fleet of 80 ships under Strategos Taticus Chrysoloras set sail at the end of May 1666 for a retaliatory strike. He detached 20 of these ships to intercept a Knootian squadron on the 29th May, known to be passing through Pantocratorian-controlled parts of the Atlantic, presumably to join the main Knootian fleet of Admiral Hendrykxx.
Leaving New Constantinople, Chrysoloras came upon Hendrykxx himself with a fleet of 85 ships at anchor near Zeeland in what became known as the Battle of Vlissingen. Eager to achieve glory he immediately engaged the nearest Knootian ship before the rest of the fleet could come to its assistance. The Knootian vanguard under Hendrykxx set upon a starboard tack, taking the battle toward their own shoals, compelling Chrysoloras turn about, to prevent being outflanked by the Knootians rear and centre, culminating in a ferocious unremitting battle that raged until nightfall.
When the sun rose again on the 2nd of June, Chrysoloras' strength was reduced to 44 ships, but with these he still renewed the battle, eager for glory, by tacking past the enemy four times in close action with the intention to board and capture Knootian ships. Unfortunately for him his fleet was in too poor a condition to continue to challenge Hendrykxx and he finally had to retire towards the coast with the Knootians in full pursuit. The following day he ordered the damaged ships forward to cover their long retreat to Pantocratoria. He finally turned around when his 20 detached ships rejoined the fleet after being unable to find the Knootian squadron. On the 4th the undamaged ships attacked in line together in an attempt to drive off their pursuers but they got heavily damaged and almost encircled. Gradually they fought windward through the Knootians, finally managing to break off the action as the Knootian fleet had to return home for lack of gunpowder.
After this the Imperial Navy was forced to reduce their operations due to financial problems. Manuel III Comnenus laid up his fleet and sued for peace. The Knootians however, were still enraged by the destruction of over 150 merchant ships in the Atlantic during the earlier year and the Staten-Generaal decided to repay their insolence first.
Raid on New Constantinople
In June, 1667, Hendrykxx launched the Knootian Raid on New Constantinople. After landing units of the Knootian Marine Corps and capturing the fort at Galata, they went on to break through the massive chain protecting the entrance to New Constantinople harbour and, on the 13th, attacked the Pantocratorian fleet which had been laid up there. The daring raid remained Pantocratoria's greatest military disaster since the First Pantocratorian Crusade. Many of the Imperial Navy's remaining ships were destroyed, either by the Knootians or by being scuttled by the Pantocratorian to block the entry into New Constantinople. Three ships of the line were burned: the Bulgaroktonos, the new Basileus Manuel and the Theotokos. The Pantocratorian flagship, Constantine the Martyr, was abandoned by its skeleton crew and captured without a shot being fired, and towed back to the United Provinces. Its coat-of-arms is now on display in Noordeinde Palace.
The Knootians success had a major psychological impact throughout Pantocratoria, with the Empire's largest city feeling especially vulnerable after the raid. This, together with the cost of the war meant that the Pantocratorians were keen to sign a peace treaty -- and so were the Knootians as they had to deal with another war at the same time. On July 31, 1667, the Treaty of Den Helder sealed peace between the two nations.