Preservationist Coup

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The Preservationist Coup (Stoldish: Bewahrunger Staatsstreich) was a military coup d'etat that took place in Stachelort over the three days of June 30 to July 2, 7545 RH. The coup had a measure of popular support and resulted in the deposition of the nobility. As a result, Admiral Lorenz Saller took over the reins of power as Autokrat for the newly declared Republic of Stachelort. Although not without some loss of life, the coup is considered essentially bloodless.

Contents

Background

Decades of increasing economic austerity and continuing troop and naval losses in the Pan-Anarian War became less and less popular among average Stachelortans. The nobility, and, especially the ruling Duke Gunther Luitger, held firmly to the concept of the United League, including Stachelort, "put[ting] the Central Anarian Powers in their place" and belief the war could be won by the League. It did not help the young Duke's standing with the populace that he lacked military experience, especially after nearly 50 years of on-going war.

The increasing dissatisfaction with economic conditions and continuing military losses began to result in small and isolated protests, beginning in the larger cities. During the 7540s, the frequency of protests grew and they started becoming more organized. The Stachelortans First Party formed in 7541 from a number of anti-war groups and included several outspoken people critical of the nobility in general and Duke Gunther Luitger in particular. After 47 years of war, average Stachelortans doubted the Pan-Anarian War could result in forcing central Anarian powers to not interfere in the affairs of eastern Anarian countries.

Economic situation

Stachelort's economy had been on a war footing for two generations when the Preservationist Coup took place. Although food was not in short supply, nearly everything else was, either due to actual deficits or materials being allocated strictly to military purposes. Even the minor nobility faced a lack of luxury goods.

In addition to shortages at home, important supplies of copper, lumber, stone, fiber, and rubber were stuck in the colony of Stachelort D'Runia due to the Aschgæt_Alliance blockade of D'Runia. The lack of access to the colony had a significant impact on industrial activity in Stachelort. As a result, a large number of people felt they were working only to supply the war machine, with little or no benefit to themselves or the country as a whole.

Military losses

Stachelort has always had a proud military tradition stemming from its early history and long-standing periodic need to fend off Wolgos slaver raids. Therefore, the regular losses of troops and ships in the Pan-Anarian War took a toll on the national psyche. With troop losses averaging in the thousands every year of the War, most people had suffered the death of a family member due as a consequence of combat action in some far off land.

Beyond the personal losses of the War, the Stachelortan Navy was being slowly decimated. Over the course of nearly 50 years, it had lost dozens of torpedo boats and like numbers of destroyers. In the 7540s, the loss of most of the country's capital ships became a rallying point for anti-warists. The cruiser SHS Vestanfell was severely damaged in fighting along the Vaixelian on January 24, 7542. The crippled cruiser tried to make it home, falling under attack again in the Straits of Stelneck. She was scuttled on July 19, 7542; fortunately, most of the crew survived. A year later, the cruiser SHS Brücht was caught in the middle of the Settant Sea and sunk on July 5, 7543 with the loss of all lives aboard. Dreadnought SHS Das Herzogtum, along with her 4 destroyer escorts, were destroyed in a sea battle in action off Amberia on March 22, 7544. Only the cruisers SHS Leefit and SHS Nordrisland remained as serviceable capital ships for Stachelort at the beginning of 7545.

Changes in the United League

Stachelortans were never fond of allying with Dhonowlgos, considering the long history of Wolgos slaver raids on the Nesterian Isles. Nonetheless, Stachelort had centuries of history as an ally or contemporary of Helreich, dating from the 5100s RH during the days of the Orkanan Realm. Stachelort had also sided with Helreich in the Tandem Wars, another east-Anarian effort to fend off central-Anarian hegemony.

Following increasing Wolgos attrocities in the Pan-Anarian War and the over-extension of their empire, Helreich declared war on Dhonwolgos in 7544. As the Häverist-Wolgos War (7544-48) continued to further embroil Helreich in a two-front war, including against a former member of the United League, the potential for the League winning the Pan-Anarian War became militarily questionable, at best. Several anti-warists in Stachelort highlighted Helreich's dual war as making any potential for them to compel further Stachenlortan involvement in the Pan-Anarian War unlikely.

Immediate pretext

On June 14, 7545, the cruiser SHS Nordrisland was blown up in the Battle of the Reach Coast near the colony of Stachelort D'Runia. The Stachelortans First Party staged mass protests across the country and there was danger of a general strike.

Preparations

Admiral Lorenz Saller, considered the mastermind of the Preservationist Coup, had become disillusioned with the Pan-Anarian War during his tenure as Chief of Naval Operations, the second in command of the Stachelortan Navy, a post he had held since April 11, 7544. Having participated in numerous naval actions first hand throughout his naval career, Saller had both strategic and personal experience with the course of the War. Shortly after becoming Chief of Naval Operations, Saller began meeting with some of his associates from his days at the Naval Institute (Stoldish: Flotteninstitut) in 7526-29. Saller also met with some of his counterparts from the Stachelortan Army. Eventually a so-called Committee to Preserve Stachelort formed with the intent of convincing the Duke to withdraw the country from the Pan-Anarian War.

Although much of the Committee's work focused on developing ways to convince the Duke to end Stachelortan participation in the United League, increasing unrest and demonstrations caused the Committee to also draft plans to pacify the populace in the event of a general strike. These plans included provisions for securing the reigning nobles (Duke Gunther Luitger and the six Counts of the marches) to ensure control of the situation and restrict the ability of the nobility to react with forces of their own.

Most of the Committee members were opposed to the idea of overthrowing the nobility, but they were committed to ending participation in the Pan-Anarian War. With some reluctance, the Committee drew up plans to force Duke Gunther Luitger from power if he refused to end the war. Saller, the son of Witold's legal assistants guildmaster, is said to have been instrumental in developing the Framework of the Republic of Stachelort in case the nobility needed to be deposed.

Events

On June 30, 7545, a group of senior officers led troops in a coordinated operation to sequester Duke Gunther Luitger in Seetor and each of the six Counts (Stoldish: Markgrafen, singular Markgraf) of the marches in their capital palaces. These actions took place virtually without opposition, except in Leefit and Hoystraland, where loyalists attempted to oppose the military, resulting in a handful of casualties. Elsewhere, the events were largely unnoticed by anyone outside the palaces, despite increased military presence in the larger cities.

Admiral Saller, on behalf of the Committee, met with Duke Gunther Luitger, presenting him with the demand to withdraw Stachelort from the Pan-Anarian War. Out of deference, Gunther Luitger was given 24 hours to make the pronouncement and Saller left the Stadtschloss palace in Seetor, Stachelort's capital. Due to a miscommunication, the Duke was not kept under guard, unlike the Counts who were held under house arrest in their palaces.

During the night, Gunther Luitger had left the Stadtschloss and traveled to his estate at Schloss Pfaueninsel, Hoystraland. Despite awareness of the previous weeks of demonstrations, Gunther Luitger did not believe the military represented the will of the people. He was also still convinced the War could be won. Therefore, Gunther Luitger issued a call-to-arms for his subjects to "put down the insurrection and bring those responsible to justice." This led to some rioting in the larger cities, but the military, already in position, was able to quickly quell the unrest.

At Schloss Pfaueninsel, loyalist troops defended the palace against an assault by troops under Brigadier Hartwin Aust, After about a dozen casualties on each side, Aust's troops took the palace and the Brigadier arrested the Duke, threatening to execute him if he did not end the War. Admiral Saller arrived and convinced Aust to hand over Gunther Luitger to be returned to Seetor. During the trip back to the capital, Saller presented the Duke with the ultimatum to withdraw Stachelort from the War or renounce his reign.

Crowds demonstrating in front of the Stadtschloss in Seetor, Brücht, Stachelort.

Rioting in Höfenborg, Nordrisland, on July 1st was the worst in the country. The military and the police worked together to quell the disturbances, though it remains unclear whether their allegiance was to the nobility or the rebels. In any case, dozens of shops were looted during the evening and some 30 persons killed before order was restored some time after midnight on July 2nd.

Stachelortans First organized a massive rally outside the palace on the morning of July 2nd. Under these conditions, Saller returned to present the Duke with a formal document of abdication, the Framework of the Republic of Stachelort. Gunter Luitger still refused to give in to the Committee's demands presented by Saller. He took the Duke to the window and, showing him the crowds, presented him with the option to sign the document or be arrested and face public trial in front of the masses. In order to keep his title and nobility Gunther Luitger signed the Framework at 12:45 PM on July 2, 7545, ending the Duchy of Stachelort and forming the Republic of Stachelort.

Aftermath

Lorenz Saller became the first Autokrat of Stachelort. He installed members of the Committee, all fellow complicit military officers, as superintendents for the marches to replace the deposed counts. Saller also appointed replacement ministers to head the government.

On July 7, 7545, Saller withdrew Stachelort from the United League. He declared Stachelort neutral and ended its participation in the Pan-Anarian War. It was not until 7 months later, in February 7546, however, the Aschgæt Alliance ended its blockade of Stachelort D'Runia.

Nationwide elections for the newly-created State Assembly took place on August 1, 7545. The State Assembly met for the first time on August 22nd that same year.

In an effort to improve economic conditions, two cruisers under construction, SHS Hoystraland and SHS Nesterland, were cancelled in 7545, at 75% and 25% complete, respectively. They were scrapped in 7546 in order to reinvest their value in the economy. This left the Stachelortan Navy with only a single cruiser, the SHS Leefit now rechristened RSS Leefit as its lone capital ship.

Duke Gunther Luitger withdrew to the family estate at Schloss Pfaueninsel. Although he retired from public life, he maintained his claim on the throne of Stachelort until his death in 7567, staunchly denying the legitimacy of the republican regime.

   Republic of Stachelort   
General Coat of arms of StachelortFlags of Stachelort
History Orkanan RealmDragar MonopolyConfederation of StachelortGreater Stoldavic EmpireDuchy of StachelortWar of RestitutionTandem WarsPan-Anarian WarPreservationist Coup
Culture and Society
Language: Stoldish
Religion: OrkananThe FaithSadarisnismKamuran CelestialismIzha
Ethnicities: BrüchtDölmerAldsayCheltaiKarskTragoni
Society: GuildsNobility in Stachelort
Sport: SchleudernStickball
Government and Politics
Government: Autokrat (list) • Council of MinistersState AssemblySupreme Court
Ministries and agencies: State Economic CommissionStachelortbank
Law enforcement: Civil MilitiaFinance GuardiansState Protection Service
Political parties: Stachelortans First Party
Other: Framework (constitution) • Foreign relations
Military
Armed Forces: NavyArmySky Armada
Equipment: Awards and deorationsShipsUniformsWeapons
Economy Standard (currency) • Business in StachelortGuildsBörse StachelortState Economic CommissionStachelortbank
Prominent people
Politicians: Nikolo Lusky (Autokrat)
Military leaders:
Nobility: Duke LuitgerDuke Gunther Luitger
Historical figures: Lorenz Saller
Businessmen:
Geography
Political: MarchesProtectorate of Stachelort D'Runia (colony)
Cities: Seetor (capital city)
Physical: Rückgrat MountainsStachel HighlandsStraits of Stelneck
Category
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