Jump to content

A Navy for the Croats


Evangeline Anovilis
 Share

Recommended Posts

While Croatia had attained its independence, the current port of Senj was a rather small town. Having only a bit over 8,000 inhabitants, it was enough to fit the many fishing boats, as well as the current Navy of 3 corvettes. However, Croatia was looking to create a proper naval force, especially as relations with GroƟdeutschland and the Athenians seemed peaceful enough to make the only threat one from overseas. And with the recent stories of Indians occupying Florida, as well as Australians attacking South Africans, this was not to be taken lightly.

Additionally, with the current economic situation, the country was dependent on imports from the Athenians or the Germans, unable to host any real merchant vessels. This was unhealthy for the trade, as well as for the diplomacy.

Ban Milan had always loved the sea, but most of his travels were either in large ships from outside Croatia, or his own little Yacht in the Harbor of Senj. And even if he now had the income of a 'nation' at his disposal, it was by far not enough to expand the small village to a size, right for a surface fleet. And as all major ports in the region, namely Triest, Koper, Rijeka, Zadar, Split and Dubrovnik were in foreign posession, he sent out a letter.

[quote][b]To: Emperor Valerio Moretti de Bourbon of the Athenian Federation
From: Ban Milan of Senj, Regent of Croatia
Subject: A port for our people[/b]

To the Emperor of the Athenians,

On behalf of my country, I today write you this letter, in order to adress a grave concern and problem of the Duchy, which we in the National Council view as important to solve. Croatia, altough once a great nation, has in its current borders only limited access to the seas. Our largest port is build to allow fishermen to do their work and find a safe harbor to return to, but it is by far not able to allow for any proper merchant vessel to anchor there. This not only prevents the creation of a fleet adequate for the protection of the Duchy from opportunistic navies, but even more, it forbids us to import and export goods, without the need to do so via your or Greater German lands, which is not only a problem for our national souvereignity, but also it burdens our economy with wares having to pass two borders, instead of one.

I do not know how Athens views on this matters are, but we hope that we can address this issue soon, either per mail or also with a personal visit of yours in Karlovac. Of course, should Athens asks for it, I can also visit you. As long as we know that, our problem is not where to meet, but to increase the standarts of living and national freedom in Croatia.

With regards,

[i]Milan[/i]
[b]Ban of Senj
Regent of Croatia[/b][/quote]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Upon receiving the letter and discussing the matter with both the Council of Magistrates and his own staff the decision was made it was worth to hear the Croatians out and see what could be arranged. As such in the reply Valerio would state that Athens was open to such an offer and that he would personally come to Karlovac to handle the discussions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[b]Karlovac, Free Duchy of Croatia[/b]

Altough the town had just a little bit below 56,000 inhabitants, Karlovac was the official capital of the Duchy. Zagreb remained under German Control and most Croats were already happy enough to be free within their borders. The matters of the other Southern Slavs could be discussed at a later time, once the Duchy had established itself. The streets were filled with people celebrating the visit of the Athenian Emperor Valerio de Bourbon, hoping that the relations to the Federation would improve, as of the two neighbours, it was one, and a force to be reconned with, making positive relations one of the Bans, and also the populations, primary goals. And so, the Emperor was awaited in Karlovac, where the streets were filled with Croats and on all balconies a few patriotic banners were planted. It was sent to Valerio de Bourbon that he was awaited at the main square[sup]1[/sup], at the Ninska samostanska.

[b]OOC:[/b]

[sup]1[/sup]That town is so small, I didn't even have a proper square...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rather than by car the Emperor would make his entrance on a helicopter to speed up the trip, after all a visit wasn't worth much if you couldn't admire the area. Once landed the rest would go by car to the main square in Karlovac. It was hard not to notice the many people that had come, in a way it made Valerio feel almost at home. Once arrived he would step out of the car followed by only a single guard as a sign of trust.

Edited by Centurius
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ban Milan and a little delegation from the Croatian National Congress, as well as the Croatian Movement for a Free Croatia, overall about a dozen people, awaited him already on the main square. It was a fine sunny day and the country had raised the flag of the Athenian federation as well as Croatia, to greet its high-ranking guest. "Welcome to the town of Karlovac, capital of our small, but fine Duchy. I'm Ban Milan, and those are the fine gentlemen of the Movement that brought us our freedom." He reached out his right hand for a greetin and used his left for an opening gesture towards the others, who nodded and raised their hats. "If you do not mind, we can enter the Townhall, given the many people that gathered here may be a bit noisy outside."

Edited by Evangeline Anovilis
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Town center was a rather humble building. After all, it was a townhall, no palace, but in comparison to the rest of the country, it was the only state-owned building of some prestige. Croatia, without any major city, only had its natural treasures of Plitvice left, however the people valued their posessions and so they valued their townhall.

After they arrived in the conference room, the State employed servant offered Valerio a chair at the one end of the long table and the society sat down, with Ban Milan at the other side. "I hope the journey was pleasant. I know, our country is small, but we still are proud of it."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"I tend to agree. Our country is build upon its people, not our square kilometers of land. Altough, can we neglect that most Croats still live outside Croatia? Of over 8 million ethnic Croats, not even a quarter million lives within our borders. But this is an issue, better adressed in the long run, given the situation. What I however also have to think about is, that even if we have people, it is the country, providing them with goods and their daily needs. Now, a big country, like Athens, or the Horde, they may produce enough to support their own people, but Croatia, our area is a bit over 10,000 square kilometres, not everything of that is arable and many ressources, as well as manufactured wares have to be imported.", the Ban looked worried. He stood up, looking out of the window at the masses, who had quieted down and enjoyed their lunch on the street or in the inn right next to the square. "These imports, vital for our nation, they are going through foreign ports. As I already stated in my letter, our biggest port is just big enough to hold a few vessels to just provide the necessary safety to arrest smugglers. We are neither capable to defend ourselves against a seaborn invasion, nor is our trade secure. Not to forget the two borders doubling tariffs." He turned away from the window, looking at the Emperor again. "We believe in the Federation and hope she won't just cut our lifeline, but still, many perceive this as a matter of national souvereignity, and altough we do not even dare ask for more, Croatia would like to ask about usage rights of at least one major port, to station and maintain our fleet, as well as to trade with the world. If your Majesty would at least consider this issue." The others nodded, expressing their agreement over what was said.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Valerio nodded in understanding. "The Athenian Federation is a large economic power with numerous major harbors and facilities, it would not significantly hurt us to offer you one of our harbors on an indefinite lease. As such I would offer a lease on the facilities at Koper and a corridor between the facilities to Croatia which would fall under the same lease. Likewise I am willing to implement a free trade system towards Croatia."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ban Milan clapped his hands once in joy and also the rest was looking positively surprised. Of the people present, only a few had expected to maybe get access to Rijeka, but Koper. It had been a great harbor since Bayern had extented and used it, now it may become a port for the Croats to be open to the world. "This would solve many of our problems, we are very thankful for this offer and I think we can accept it. However, first I need to ask, does the Athenian Federation want something in return?" He then gave a short wink to the servant, who had before already led Valerio to his chair and who now nodded and opened a cupboard in the corner of the room.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Actually handing over control of the facilities to Croatia serves our own interests, with only Athens and Greater Germany at the Adriatic the sea grew pretty much barren of trade. After all, why go to the Adriatic when there are many other harbors on a more profitable route? If Croatian trade increases so will trade through the strait of Otranto and to such cities as Venice."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...