The Blood Anointed Sword: The Decline and Fall of the Habsburg Empire, 1614-1660



On the venerable source of wisdom that is TVTropes, there is a page entitled the “Sliding Scale of Alternate History.” This scale aims to explain the different approaches that authors take to works of alternate history fiction. On the one end is the hard alternate history; extensively researched, with outcomes as realistic as fiction can be. Many noted works on this website fall under this category. TVTropes explicitly calls out the Look to the West sequence by Thande. Opposite of this is fantastical alternate history, or as is referred to on this website, Alien Space Bats. A perfect example would be the 1632 series by Eric Flint, where a West Virginia town is flung back across the sea of time into Germany at the height of the Thirty Years War. In between these two extremes are the differing shades of “soft” alternate history. This falls squarely into the “soft” alternate history category, with some tinges of “utter implausibility.” The reason? Well, there are a few reasons.

First, it is difficult to select a single Point of Difference for this timeline- there are instead multiple. Second, since this story takes place a good 120 years or so after what passes for the initial Point of Difference, the characters will be authorial inventions. The delicate marriage process of European nobility would not have remained the same in this scenario, leading to different pairings and, thus, different births. However, many of these “original” characters may bear passing resemblance to figures from our own OTL history, in personality, ambition, and mayhap even appearance. Third, this is the best way to tell the story that I want to tell. Could the events of this tale have happened in our own world? Not very likely at all, but I hope the storytelling makes up for it. My previous experience with long-form timeline writing (the Legacy of Saint Brendan) was squarely on the soft side of alternate history, and I still like to think folks enjoyed that.

The conceit of this story is as follows: imagine that the Great Houses of Europe are sitting around a gaming table, playing a game involving dice of different sizes and numbers. It could be Dungeons and Dragons inspired, what have you. The Habsburgs, starting in the late-15th century, suddenly start rolling natural 20s on the dice- critical successes, in more common parlance. The lucky House of Austria already rolled a few in our own world, but in this world… they never stop. 20 follows 20 for years, then decades, then centuries. Other Great Houses hold out for some time against this onslaught, but no matter what they try they are eventually ground beneath the millstone that is A.E.I.O.U.. Not even the mighty House of Osman, in the end, can stand before such triumphs.

Having finally decided something is up, the Game Master (call them God, or Fate, or what have you) finally decides to check the Habsburg dice set and discovers the horrifying fact that they are loaded. Words are exchanged, a few tears are shed, and the Habsburgs are allowed to keep playing the game… but with an unweighted set of dice. No matter, the Habsburg thinks, peering at the vast domain and seemingly limitless resources their cheating has won them, there is no way that I can fail now. They then roll the dice… and get a Natural 1. The Game Master smiles wickedly; this is where the fun begins.

To put it a slightly more crude way; the background of this tale is an unadulterated piece of Habsburg wankery. And then, suddenly, reality ensues.

I hope you can join me on this adventure through a 17th Century world that is different, yet familiar, a world where the Four Horsemen are shortly to be unleashed and take the globe by storm. Characters both great and small will march across the stage and have their own roles to play. So let us strike up the band, roll the dice, and let the chips fall where they may (mixed metaphors never hurt anybody). My earnest desire is that you will find some enjoyment in this tale, and that you can overlook its place on the Sliding Scale of Alternate History.

Best wishes,
June 15, 2023
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Chapter I: The Last Crusade
Chapter I.
The Last Crusade

In the early hours of 28 May 1614, the defenders of Constantinople were roused from their beds by a tremendous salvo. Every siege piece in the camp of the Holy League fired as one, sending shot screaming against the battered walls of the city. As the echoes of the cannon faded away, new sounds arose from the siege lines. From the walls, it must have sounded like a disorganized roar as the battle cries of a dozen nations were bellowed out by forlorn hopes. These brave and desperate men emerged from the trenches and approached the four breaches that were the result of a month and a half of near constant bombardment.

The defenders rushed to take positions, grimly realizing that the dreaded final assault had arrived. Initially brave, as only men defending their homes could be, they responded to the battle cries of the Holy League with shouts of “Allahu Akbar,” the war songs of the mehterhane, and a volley of musket fire and cannon shot. They scythed through the charging men of the forlorn hopes, but the Christians did not falter; a second volley of musketry did little to slow them down. At point blank range, the Turks fired once again into the teeth of the attackers, but then they were upon them. The breaches rang with the music of the melee; blade clashing with blade, halberd crunching against skull, pistols fired at intimate range.

As the second waves from the trenches prepared to charge the walls, a cry of despair rang out from the walls. At the northernmost breach, the leader of the forlorn hope, Baron Richard Percy (son of the Earl of Northumberland) cut down the red and gold zulfiqar banner and had his ensign unfurl the Banner of the Holy Wounds. This war flag had been blessed by the Archbishop of Canterbury himself, and it was a potent symbol for the British contingent of the Holy League. Although the ensign would fall and Baron Percy himself would be wounded in a subsequent countercharge, the banner remained. Soon, other Christian banners began to appear on the walls.

Panic set in amongst many of the defenders. The urban militia that had been organized to hold the line began to flee back to their homes, in hopes of finding their families. The sekban threw down their muskets and made for the harbors, in hopes of finding a way across the Bosporus into friendlier Anatolia. Only the janissaries refused to retreat, determined to hold the city that they had won over 160 years before. One by one they fell, until even the men of the mehterhane threw down their instruments, drew their swords, and charged. But their defiance was not enough; the attackers were too many and too determined.

The walls overcome, the soldiers of the Holy League descended upon the City of the World’s Desire. Inflamed by religious propaganda, grown callous by fourteen years of war, and driven by the lust for loot that rested at the heart of almost every soldier of the Early Modern period, the “hosts of Christendom” became little more than a ravening horde. Mosques and churches alike were ransacked, homes and shops pillaged. No matter their creed or heritage, the citizens of Constantinople were subject to all manner of atrocities. In spite of the efforts of the army’s commander, Archduke Ferdinand von Habsburg, to regain control of his forces, this went on unchecked for five days.

At the end of the sack, Archduke Ferdinand found himself in control of a devastated city. Modern population estimates of Constantinople before the sack, when including those who had fled the advance of the Holy League across eastern Thrace, are generally around 500,000; in the immediate aftermath of the sack, the population was likely reduced by a margin of 40-45%. The devastation of Constantinople would burn itself into memory across the Muslim world from Bengal to Rabat, adding to a long list of Christian atrocities against the Umma. It would also prove to be a dark omen of violence yet to come in Europe.

Nevertheless, as Archduke Ferdinand held the first Christian mass in the Hagia Sophia since the destruction of the Eastern Roman Empire, the enormity of the devastation was put aside by many in Christendom. As news of the victory spread, church bells across Europe chimed the triumph and festivals, both spontaneous and planned, took place in celebration. Pope Gregory XIV was said to have been reduced to joyous tears upon hearing of the victory, and hoped to clear the conscience of the participants of the sack with the issuing of a Crusade indulgence. Emperor Leopold, according to the sources, gave a thin smile and immediately made plans to visit the recaptured city.

. . .​

Ferdinand’s capture of Constantinople was the culmination of the Great Turkish War (1600-1614), the brainchild of Pope Gregory XIV and Emperor Leopold von Habsburg. The armies of the Holy League of 1599 had fought the Turk on fronts in the Caucasus, the Balkans, the Mediterranean Sea, the Persian Gulf, and the Horn of Africa. The Ottomans had fought bravely and skillfully under the leadership of Sultan Mehmed III, himself a veteran of several campaigns and considered by many in both the Islamic and Christian worlds to be a military genius. However, not even his leadership could make up the difference in numbers, with his armies spread thin and often under the command of less talented subordinates. While he prevented the easy victory that Emperor Leopold had hoped for, he was unable to successfully protect all his flanks at once.

By 1613, distracted by a revolt of mamluk families in Egypt, an opportunistic invasion by Safavid Persia, and a devastating illness that left him almost completely bed-bound, Mehemd III was faced with the greatest challenge to Turkish supremacy in the Balkans yet- Archduke Ferdinand’s advance into Bulgaria. Leading a truly international force, Ferdinand had captured Sredets at the close of campaigning in 1612. Mehmed III was of the belief that Ferdinand would move south and west to support the Emperor’s bogged-down campaign in the Macedonian highlands. Instead, in April 1613 Ferdinand began a march southeast across Bulgaria. Twice he defeated Ottoman armies under Grand Vizier Turgut Pasha- first at Pazardzhik, then at Minzuhar.

Crossing the Maritsa after Turgut Pasha, Ferdinand invested Adrianople on 12 September 1613, expecting a long siege. To everyone’s surprise, however, less than a month later a mortar shell hit the city’s primary magazine, causing a massive explosion and forcing Turgut Pasha to surrender his beleaguered force on 9 October 1613. Deciding to settle in at Adrianople for the winter, Ferdinand unleashed the Cossacks, hussars, and other light cavalrymen of his force against eastern Thrace. The raiding, alongside the presence of a large “Crusader” force so close to Constantinople, caused a general panic in the Ottoman capital.

Seeking to salvage the disaster, Mehmed III resolved to lead his forces against Ferdinand personally. Still too weak to ride, the Sultan was carried on the campaign in a large horse-drawn wagon. Upon learning of Mehmed’s advance, the Archduke resolved to meet him in the field rather than face a siege. The two armies met on 3 March 1614 at Saranda Eklisies (also known as Lozengrad) in what authors have termed “the last great field battle of the Crusades.” The battle was close-run, until the Christian light cavalry struck the Ottoman camp and began to loot the baggage train. Misinterpreting this as a larger flank attack, panic set in amongst the Ottomans and a general rout began. Mehmed III, trapped in his carriage and abandoned by his guards, killed two cuirassiers who sought to capture him before being dispatched by a third with a pistol shot.

The death of Mehmed III and the collapse of his field army led to increased panic in Constantinople. His eldest son took control of the Sublime Porte as Mehmed IV, but his agents bungled the subsequent fratricide. Four of his brothers escaped the city and made it across the Bosporus, where they began to rally supporters of their own. Mehmed IV sent peace feelers to Ferdinand, offering to cede vast swathes of the Balkans, but the Archduke was in no mood to negotiate. According to one chronicler, Ferdinand “fell into fits of laughter” when presented with Mehmed IV’s terms. Realizing what was coming, Mehmed IV determined to defend his city, calling for reinforcements from Anatolia. Those reinforcements never came.

On 10 April 1614, Constantinople was officially invested, and subjected to siege and bombardment for the first time since 1453; the city fell a month and a half later. Mehmed IV did not live to see the final blow; he was strangled to death in his palace either shortly before or just after the breaches were secured on 28 May. Popular Christian legend claims that he was attempting to disguise himself in harem silks in order to avoid detection and was killed by a eunuch who failed to recognize him. That seems very unlikely for several reason, not the least of which being that disguising as a woman, especially a member of the Sultan’s legendary seraglio, was not wise during a sack. Nevertheless, with his death the title of Ottoman Sultan and Caliph was fully taken up by his four surviving brothers, initiating the so-called “Turkish Anarchy.”

. . .​

Three weeks after the “Liberation” of Constantinople, a galleon bearing the banner of Emperor Leopold arrived at the port of Constantinople. It approached carefully, as Turkish artillerymen on the other side of the Bosporus fired a few desultory cannon shots at it, but managed to arrive unscratched. In a grand ceremony, immortalized in a famed painting by Spanish artist Lorenzo de Figueredo, Ferdinand presented the keys of Constantinople to his brother and sovereign. Leopold accepted the gift, bestowing his brother with the title of Restitutor Europae, a title inspired by one once born by the Emperor Aurelian. The ceremony complete, however, Leopold immediately began to list out his wants.

The first thing he wanted to do was see the Sultan’s body. Ferdinand sheepishly informed him that the request was not possible; Mehmed IV had been discovered during the height of the sack, and the soldiers had not been kind to him. By the time the body had been brought to him, it was missing seven fingers, three toes, most of its teeth, an eye, and both ears; his beard and hair had been torn out until there were only a few patches left; and, in a final indignity, the Sultan was missing something that the chroniclers at the time refused to name. Ferdinand, disgusted, ordered Mehmed IV buried in a nondescript mass grave.

Disappointed for only a moment, Leopold then indicated he wished to visit the Hagia Sophia. This request the Archduke could readily grant; the Imperial party moved through the devastated city to the sacred edifice. As the Emperor stared at the great church, Ferdinand began to describe the plans that were already underway to restore the icons and images within the cathedral. Leopold listened to these plans for a while, but then interrupted by nodding at the minarets that reared up around the church.

“I want those gone. Today,” he said. Ferdinand, who was apparently caught off guard by this request, replied that there were plans to dismantle the “heathen additions” over the next month or so. Leopold shook his head.


Thus ordered, the Archduke turned to the engineers who had helped him invest and seize the city. Within a few hours, the minarets were packed with several hundred pounds of gunpowder and the Imperial party had withdrawn to a safe distance. At a signal from Leopold, the fuses were lit and a few moments later four great explosions rocked the ground. Horses stirred and whinnied in fright and men gripped their ears and cried out from the deafening blasts. The four minarets collapsed in on themselves and became little more than piles of rubble. The official chronicler recorded that “a great sigh of relief arose from those assembled.” According to popular legend, Leopold, with a satisfied look on his face, stated “Ultio Constantini absolvitur.”

“Constantine’s revenge is completed.”

. . .​

As the smoke still rose from the broken minarets, the Great Turkish War began to come to its slow conclusion. Rüstem Pasha, commander of Ottoman armies in Macedonia and Greece, was beleaguered on the north by Holy League forces and on the south by Greek rebels backed by Venice. Recognizing he was trapped, and desiring to influence proceedings in the coming civil conflict, Rüstem Pasha negotiated a carefully worded surrender with the Holy League commander on the field, Spaniard Ladron de Cantlapiedra on 8 July 1614. De Cantlapiedra agreed to ferry Rüstem Pasha and his forces across the Aegean to Yoran, in exchange for an agreement to never take up arms against Christians again. This agreement enabled Rüstem Pasha to arrive in Anatolia with a sizeable and veteran force, while also ending the “official” presence of Ottoman forces in the Balkans.

In the Crimea, Polish-Lithuanian, Cossack, and Russian forces had forced the Crimean Khan to retreat to his fortress capital, where he received news of the fall of Constantinople with suspicion. Khan Bahadir Giray believed it to be a trick meant to demoralize his forces, and refused peace entreaties from the besiegers. His stubborn resistance forced the costly Storm of Bakhchisarai on 10 July 1614, ending the Crimean Khanate’s long presence on the Black Sea. The Turkish garrison at Azov, on the other hand, freely entered into negotiations with the Holy League, managing to depart for friendly ports two days later on 12 July 1614.

The final shots of the Great Turkish War in the Mediterranean would take place in Algiers, where a garrison of Spaniards, Knights of Saint John, and Portuguese under Marshal Harloynus de Tremaux had been under siege by an Ottoman detachment and local Islamic allies since 1610. Thanks to resupply via the sea, the garrison had held out and defeated every attempt to take the city by storm. On 30 August 1614, de Tremaux led a sortie against the enemy siege camps and smashed the demoralized and underpaid Ottoman force, giving the city breathing room for the first time in four years.

However, the dignity of the final engagement of the Great Turkish War belonged to a daring raid carried out by Aziz Ziyauddin Bey in East Africa. Commanding a small flotilla of galleys, he surprised the Portuguese galleon Santa Isabel sailing out of Mombassa on 10 October 1614, seizing the vessel and its crew. Ziyauddin Bey, who had been at sea for six months at the time of the capture of the Santa Isabel, arrived at the port of Aden with his prize on 20 November 1614, where he learned of the loss of Constantinople for the first time. In anger for the devastation done by the Holy League during the sack, he massacred his prisoners, only to be taken by authorities in Aden and executed for suspicions of supporting the wrong Sultan in the Anarchy.

The unfortunate crew of the Santa Isabel are treated by most historians as the last victims of the Great Turkish War. Although sporadic violence would continue on the high seas and frontiers for decades, these are considered separate actions, not driven by Ottoman war policy. For most historians as well, the crew of the Santa Isabel are viewed as the last victims of the Crusades; after the Great Turkish War, future conflicts between Muslim and Christian powers would be driven less by the dictates of Rome and more by the policies of individual nations.

While undeniably a victory for the Holy League, after the celebrations were completed, Christendom was faced with a burning question:

What now?

Habsburg Ottoman policy for well over a century had been focused on containing and rolling back Islamic Turkish influence in Europe through a Pan-European coalition. Some historians (referred to as the Coalitionists) believe that this desire was the driving force behind Habsburg European policy in the 16th Century. This was why the Habsburgs had backed the House of Bourbon-Montpensier, why they had enforced the Interim on the Protestant Princes, why they had pursued the English Match, why they had contested the Polish claim and become entangled in the intricate politics of the Russian Tsardom- to create a Europe that was (mostly) religiously unified and (mostly) under friendly dynasts. This would allow them to focus their attention on the Turkish front, while not having to worry about their European flanks.

As evidenced by the Great Turkish War, this policy worked. But without the looming threat of the Great Turk to focus on, what could possibly keep the Holy League united? Was the Pax Habsburgica sustainable?

Events would prove that it was not.

For all their hopes of ending conflict in Europe with the recapture of Constantinople, Habsburg policies unwittingly laid the groundwork for the violence and devastation of the 1600s.
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So presumably either Mary and Philip have a child or to go with the Habsburgs getting lucky with rolling the dice, the Spanish Armada succeeds in its mission.
Notable Habsburg Dynasts, 1614
Notable Habsburg Dynasts
At The Time of the Liberation of Constantinople
28 May 1614

Austrian Branch

Founder: Ferdinand (7 May 1528 – 9 May 1589), son of Charles I & V (24 February 1500 – 29 October 1560)

Born: 10 May 1560 (Aged 54)
Notable Titles: Holy Roman Emperor, King in Germany, King of Bohemia, King of Hungary and Croatia, Margrave of Moravia, Archduke of Austria
Father: Ferdinand (7 May 1528 – 9 May 1589)
Spouse: Maria, Princess of Spain, born 5 July 1569 (Aged 44)
  • Charles, 8 August 1588 – 11 September 1588 (Aged 1 Month)
  • Frederick, 11 June 1590 – 15 July 1590 (Aged 1 Month)
  • Ferdinand, 9 March 1593 – 10 April 1594 (Aged 1)
  • Mary, 19 November 1596 – 19 June 1610 (Aged 13)
  • Stillborn Son, 28 October 1598

Born: 16 April 1563
Deceased: 19 June 1610 (Aged 47)
Notable Titles: Archduke of Further Austria, Count of Tyrol
Father: Ferdinand (7 May 1528 – 9 May 1589)
Spouse: Elizabeth of Bavaria,, born 7 July 1564, died 18 July 1597 (Aged 33)
  • Maximillian, Archduke of Further Austria and Count of Tyrol, 11 july 1581 (Aged 32)
  • Elizabeth, 9 April 1583 (Aged 31)
  • Charles, 11 May 1586 (Aged 28)
  • John, 29 September 1590 (Aged 24)
  • Stillborn Daughter, 13 January 1593
  • Stillborn Daughter, 20 March 1595
  • Wenceslaus, 18 July 1597 (Aged 16)

Born: 8 May 1567 (Aged 47)
Notable Titles: Archduke of Inner Austria
Father: Ferdinand (7 May 1528 – 9 May 1589)
Spouse: Margherita de Medici, born 12 October 1570 (Aged 43)
  • Albert, 11 June 1591 (Aged 22)
  • Henrietta, 12 August 1595 – 9 October 1595 (Aged 1 Month)
  • Anna, 7 March 1598 (Aged 16)
  • Francis, 16 July 1601 (Aged 12)
  • Stillborn Daughter, 8 December 1604
  • Stillborn Son, 9 January 1606
  • Christina, 3 September 1609 – 9 October 1609 (Aged 1 Month)

Born: 10 August 1570 (Aged 43)
Notable Titles: Duchess of Savoy
Father: Ferdinand (7 May 1528 – 9 May 1589)
Spouse: Thomas Phillip of Savoy, Duke of Savoy, born 24 December 1581 (Aged 53)
  • Phillip Francis, Prince of Piedmont, 16 January 1592 (Aged 22)
  • Amadeus Emmanuel, 22 July 1596 (Aged 18)
  • Victor, Cardinal, 18 April 1598 (Aged 16)
  • Isabella, 11 February 1600 (Aged 14)
  • Stillborn Daughter, 6 August 1601
  • Stillborn Son, 9 September 1603

Born: 5 October 1572 (Aged 41)
Notable Titles: Queen of Burgundy, Sovereign-Consort of the Netherlands
Father: Ferdinand (7 May 1528 – 9 May 1589)
Spouse: John II von Habsburg, King of Burgundy, Sovereign of the Netherlands, born 8 December 1573 (Aged 41)
Children: (See Burgundian Branch)

Born: 11 April 1574 (Aged 40)
Notable Titles: Abbess of St. George’s Abbey
Father: Ferdinand (7 May 1528 – 9 May 1589)
Spouse: None
Children: None

Born: 9 March 1578 (Aged 26)
Notable Titles: Archduke of Austria, Marshal of the Holy League
Father: Ferdinand (7 May 1528 – 9 May 1589)
Spouse: None
  • Illegitimate Ernest of Austria, 15 September 1611 (Aged 2)

Born: 11 July 1581 (Aged 32)
Notable Titles: Archduke of Further Austria, Count of Tyrol
Father: Joseph (16 April 1563 – 19 June 1610)
Spouse: Emilia, Princess of Burgundy, born 16 July 1580 (Aged 33)
  • Matthias, 8 November 1601 (Aged 12)
  • Frederick, 11 December 1604 (Aged 9)
  • Phillip, 7 February 1606 (Aged 8)
  • Louise, 16 May 1609 (Aged 5)
  • Stillborn Daughter, 25 March 1612
Spanish Branch

Founder: Phillip II (20 June 1530 – 20 October 1598), son of Charles I & V (24 February 1500 – 29 October 1560)

Born: 26 September 1587 (Aged 27)
Notable Titles: King of Spain, King of Portugal, King of Sardinia, King of Naples, King of Sicily, Duke of Milan
Father: Phillip II (20 June 1530 – 20 October 1598)
Spouse: Christine, Princess of France, born 10 November 1590 (Aged 23)
  • Carlos, Prince of Asturias, 14 October 1610 (Aged 3)
  • Maria Christina, 10 April 1614 (Aged 1 Month)

Burgundian Branch

Founder: John I (28 June 1534 – 2 January 1591), son of Charles I & V (24 February 1500 – 29 October 1560)

John II
Born: 8 December 1573 (Aged 41)
Notable Titles: King of Burgundy, Sovereign of the Netherlands
Father: John I (28 June 1534 – 2 January 1591)
Spouse: Margarita of Austria, born 5 October 1572 (Aged 41)
  • William, Count of Hainault, 17 August 1598 (Aged 15)
  • John, 12 November 1600 (Aged 13)
  • Margriet, 7 June 1603 (Aged 9)
  • Stillborn Son, 8 May 1605
  • Charles, 19 August 1609 (Aged 6)
  • Juliana, 20 April 1612 (Aged 2)

Born: 9 March 1575 (Aged 39)
Notable Titles: Duke of Luxembourg
Father: John I (28 June 1534 – 2 January 1591)
Spouse: Katherine Sofia of the Palatinate, born 17 February 1578 (Aged 36)
  • Phillip, 8 June 1596 (Aged 17)
  • Barbara, 14 April 1599 (Aged 15)
  • Anna Maria, 7 October 1603 (Aged 10)
  • Ferdinand, 6 May 1606 (Aged 8)
  • Stillborn Son, 11 June 1608
  • Stillborn Son, 2 December 1609
  • Stillborn Daughter, 9 June 1611
  • Sigismund, 12 May 1614 (Aged 16 Days)

Born: 9 March 1575 (Aged 39)
Notable Titles: Prince-Bishop of Strasbourg
Father: John I (28 June 1534 – 2 January 1591)
Spouse: None
  • Illegitimate Octavia of Austria, 14 November 1598 (Aged 15)
  • Illegitimate Augustus of Austria, 3 March 1600 (Aged 14)
  • Illegitimate Constantine of Austria, 28 January 1608 (Aged 10)
  • Illegitimate Cornelia of Austria, 28 January 1608 (Aged 6)
  • Illegitimate Julius Caesar of Austria, 25 December 1611 (Aged 2)

Born: 16 July 1580 (Aged 33)
Notable Titles: Archduchess of Further Austria, Countess of Tyrol
Father: John I (28 June 1534 – 2 January 1591)
Spouse: Maximilian, Archduke of Further Austria and Count of Tyrol, born 11 July 1581 (Aged 32)
Children: (See Austrian Branch)

English Branch

Founder: Frederick (11 January 1532 – 18 August 1603), son of Charles I & V (24 February 1500 – 29 October 1560)

Born: 1 June 1561 (Aged 52)
Notable Titles: King of England, Lord of Ireland, Duke of Normandy
Father: Charles (27 December 1549 – 11 March 1609)
Spouse: Lady Grace Talbot, born 9 October 1564 (Aged 49)
  • Edward, Prince of Wales, 29 December 1589 (Aged 25)
  • Charles, 18 August 1593 (Aged 20)
  • Alethea, 12 May 1597 (Aged 14)
  • George, 3 July 1608 (Aged 5)


Born: 5 March 1564 (Aged 50)
Notable Titles: Cardinal, Archbishop of Canterbury
Father: Charles (27 December 1549 – 11 March 1609)
Spouse: None
  • Illegitimate Phillipa of Austria, 7 November 1580 (Aged 33)

Born: 9 July 1568 (Aged 45)
Notable Titles: Lord Lieutenant of Ireland
Father: Charles (27 December 1549 – 11 March 1609)
Spouse: Eleanor von Habsburg, born 3 October 1587 (Aged 26)
  • Thomas, 16 May 1601 (Aged 13)
  • Gerald, 26 September 1604 (Aged 9)
  • William, 9 April 1608 (Aged 6)
  • Mary, 30 June 1611 (Aged 3)
  • Catherine, 18 May 1614 (Aged 10 Days)

Born: 16 September 1572 (Aged 41)
Notable Titles: Queen of Scotland
Father: Charles (27 December 1549 – 11 March 1609)
Spouse: James VII Stewart, King of Scotland, born 9 May 1570 (Aged 44)
  • Malcolm, Crown Prince of Scotland, 14 April 1598 (Aged 16)
  • James, 8 August 1601 (Aged 12)
  • Mary, 10 July 1605 (Aged 8)

Born: 29 December 1589 (Aged 25)
Notable Titles: Prince of Wales
Father: George (1 June 1561)
Spouse: Eleanor von Habsburg, 10 January 1591 (Aged 23)
  • Stephen, 8 June 1613 (Aged 11 Months)

Polish Branch

Founder: Maximilian (19 April 1540), nephew of Charles I & V (24 February 1500 – 29 October 1560)

Born: 19 April 1540 (Aged 74)
Notable Titles: King of Poland, Grand Duke of Lithuania
Father: Ferdinand (8 April 1503 – 10 August 1545)
Spouse: Joanna von Habsburg, Daughter of Charles I & V, born 24 June 1536, died 18 August 1581 (Aged 45)
  • Rudolph, 11 February 1565 (Aged 49)
  • Ferdinand, 19 August 1568 – 21 August 1613 (Aged 44)
  • Anna Catherina, 7 May 1570 (Aged 44)
  • Stillborn Daughter, 10 August 1573
  • Stillborn Daughter, 9 April 1575
  • Stillborn Daughter, 18 June 1579
  • Stillborn Son, 18 August 1581

Born: 11 February 1565 (Aged 49)
Notable Titles: Prince of Poland
Father: Maximilian (19 April 1540)
Spouse: Anna Caterina Gonzaga, born 17 November 1566 (Aged 47)
  • Eleanor, Princess of Wales, 3 October 1587 (Aged 26)
  • Anna, 25 March 1590 (Aged 24)
  • Juliana, 29 May 1593 (Aged 20)
  • Stillborn Son, 9 October 1595
  • Stillborn Son, 7 May 1597
  • Ladislaus the Long-Desired, 8 November 1600 (Aged 13)


Born: 19 August 1568
Deceased: 21 August 1613
Notable Titles: Hetman
Father: Maximilian (19 April 1540)
Spouse: Sofia Tarnowska, born 12 March 1570 (Aged 44)
  • Alexander, Sovereign, Tsar, and Grand Prince of all Rus’, born 8 April 1589 (Aged 25)
  • Elizabeth, born 17 October 1592 (Aged 21)
  • Sofia, born 29 July 1596 (Aged 17)

Russian Branch

Founder: Alexander (8 April 1589), son of Ferdinand, Hetman of Poland-Lithuania (19 August 1568 – 21 August 1613)

Born: 8 April 1589 (Aged 25)
Notable Titles: Sovereign, Tsar, and Grand Prince of all Rus’
Father: Ferdinand (19 August 1568 – 21 August 1613)
Spouse: Anna Lyupanova, born 17 January 1592 (Aged 22)
  • Peter, 8 May 1614 (Aged 20 Days)
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View attachment 838983
Apotheosis of A.E.I.O.U.
Territories Ruled by Habsburg Dynasts, ca. 1614
Prior to the Treaties of Constantinople
I'm surprised the Habsburgs didn't have all of Hungary already by this point. After all, it took quite a few misses and screw ups on their part to lose all that land. I assumed they wouldn't have those failures in a scenario with an überwank premise.
A relevant thread of mine:
Seems like a contest for the future Tsar of Russia is going to be one of or the starting issue for the Hapsburg Realms to contend with...