Bernard of Saxe-Weimar in 1632
Duke Bernard of Saxe-Weimar was the youngest brother of dukes Wilhelm, Albrecht, and Ernst of Saxe-Weimar. He, Wilhelm, and William V, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel were the only three German rulers who supported the Protestant banner and Gustavus Adolphus during the Thirty Years' War. However, the arrival of Grantville altered history, and eventually led Bernard to abandon Gustavus.
Alliance with Gustavus Adolphus
In 1631, just after Count Tilly's sack of Magdeburg, Gustav's war council concluded that Tilly would next advance on Thuringia. Bernard offered to return to his lands and mount what would almost certainly be a futile defense, but was gently convinced to stay with the Swedish forces by Axel Oxenstierna and Gustav himself. Gustav further enticed Bernard with the promise of an education in war.
Bernard received some of his education at the Battle of Breitenfeld. After the Swedes' Saxon allies retreated, Gustavus used Bernard to convey an order to Gustav Horn, commander of the left flank, to pivot his forces left and hold his right to the center.
Despite his hero worship of Gustavus Adolphus, Bernard was by no means a humble man. In December 1631, the timelost town of Grantville proclaimed the New United States. This incensed both Bernard and Wilhelm, as it cut into the lands they ruled. However, by early 1632, Bernard's arrogance had so alienated Gustavus and his advisors that few cared about Bernard's feelings. (Wilhelm was a different matter, and Gustavus reached an accommodation with him.)
Alliance with Cardinal Richelieu
Sometime in 1632, Bernard betrayed the king, and sold his services to Cardinal Richelieu and France. In Bernard's view, Gustavus betrayed the Wettin dukes first when he let the NUS keep the Wettin lands in Thuringia, or at least when Gustavus did so and did not immediately present new lands to the brother dukes.
Richelieu accepted Bernard's offer, and paid the duke a substantial sum of money to allow Spanish forces to cross into Germany to attack Grantville. Bernard moved down to Cologne in July, 1632, much to the puzzlement of Gustavus, who had successfully occupied Nürnberg, and was awaiting a siege. It was weeks later that Gustavus finally figured out the truth, and decided to investigate.
Following the establishment of the Confederated Principalities of Europe, Bernard had lost faith in Gustavus and perceived himself as having been betrayed. As a result, Bernhard had carved out a de facto independent principality for himself from the Franche-Comté and parts of Swabia.
De facto independence
Bernard did not immediately break his connection with Richelieu. Though he was careful not to take actions that would actually risk his army, he made sure his actions could be explained in ways that Richelieu would, at least officially and formally, be able to accept. He was aided in this by the maneuvers of the Swedish general Gustav Horn, as he was able to say that he needed to counter them, and that he was keeping Horn in place. Bernard also realized that, after the Battle of Ahrensbök, Turenne's cavalry was the only effective force Richelieu could rely on, and it would be tied down in Paris.
In May of 1634, his decision to move his forces to the south left Nils Brahe with a path through northern Alsace to the border of Lorraine, which allowed Brahe to seize what became the USE's Province of the Upper Rhine. It is not clear whether or not Bernard anticipated this, but he did not contest it.
In June of 1634, concerned about a plague epidemic that was "scheduled" to hit Alsace, Swabia, and Württemberg in 1635, Bernard hired Kamala Horton, a disaffected up-time nurse. Friedrich Kanoffski, the lieutenant who had handled the recruiting, also hoped that she would watch over Bernard's own health, though that was not something he could tell Bernard, as Bernard was sensitive about his chronic indigestion.
In September of 1634, Bernard had a role in the "Bavarian Crisis", when he moved to the borders of the Swiss canton of Basel with the intent of forcing the Basel authorities to turn Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria over to him so he could force her into marriage. However, he made no attempt to stop her escape by airplane, as he did not wish to be seen as the person responsible for her death. While there, he had a meeting with Diane Jackson, in which she persuaded him to leave the Basel area and focus on protecting his core territories.
In early 1635, Bernard and Gustav had reached a modus vivendi which saw Bernard recognized as Grand Duke of the County of Burgundy, and ensured peace between the USE and his own territory. He also conducted negotiations with Claudia de' Medici which led to a marriage agreement between them.
- 1634: The Bavarian Crisis, ch. 30 . It is mentioned that Bernard had an up-time encyclopedia, though which one is not named. It is implied that Kanoffski was aware that Bernard's chronic health problems had led to his early death.
- 1634: The Bavarian Crisis, chs. 62-68
- Ring of Fire III, "Make Mine Macramé" . The meeting is referred to, but not written about.