|Mervoret of Drevstran|
|Preceded by||Creation of the position|
|Succeeded by||Vernesto Skolad|
|Leader of Yednosc!|
|Preceded by||Creation of the position|
|Succeeded by||Vernesto Skolad|
Vilvo Orbraggar was a Drevstranese military leader, nationalist politician, and revolutionary who served first as a Warlord during the Drevstranese Civil War and then as the foundator and leader of the First Mervoshia until his resignation in 1941.
Born in the Mrengrave, in western Drevstran, Orbraggar was a Major-General of the Triple Crown's Army when Hortankh Bolsar launched his coup and deposed the monarchy. Despite the two men cordial relations before the civil war, Orbraggar would remain unaffiliated to the Bolsarist faction and instead became a Warlord, gaining control over most of the Furodomark. At first considering the option, he ended up refusing to support Ansmar II ill-fated attempt to return to the throne, instead becoming a staunch supporter of the country's provincial parliaments as the sole holders of public legitimacy. After his victory in the civil war, Orbraggar and the parliaments established the modern republic of Drevstran, with Orbraggar as its first leader under the title of "Mayor of the Palace".
As leader of Drevstran, Orbraggar was the instigator of profound political and economic reforms, developing the industrialisation of the country and its attractivity for foreign investors. He also introduced the foundations for a democratic regime, even if it wouldn't go further because of his and his successor's grasp on the system until the Black Streets Days.
He served three mandates of seven years as Mervoret given that his party, Yednosc! had completely taken over the electoral process. But in 1941, he decided against presenting himself for a new mandate and decided to retire from politics at the age of 86 because of health concerns. He would die two years later of an aneurysm.
Vilvo Orbraggar was born in the village of Tsaro, in the region of the Mrengrave in Western Drevstran, in 1864. At the time, Tsaro was a small village predominantly a Lushyod and Docetic settlement, with a small Jewish community. His father, Edmond Orbraggar, was the Yätzelember (head of law enforcement) in the village and a small time career policeman from a local family of small landowners. His mother, Jadott Orbraggar, born Misremond, was the third daughter of a Miller-born Hotelier who owned an Inn in the Furodomark. Vilvo himself was the couple's third son. As a career civil servant with bloodties within his commune and married to a woman doubly tied to professions of ill repute, milling and innkeeping which were both always suspected of thievery and banditry, the reputation of Edmond Orbraggar was sulfurous even though no proof of specific wrongdoing ever came up to tarnish his name, even after his death.
The young Vilvo Orbraggar, free from farmwork unlike most Tsaroists children of his generation, could attend school fulltime and was loaded for his diligence and dedication by his teachers. Once he became a teenager, he was sent to the Docetic highschool in the nearby city of Kiröt, where he maintained his good reputation. Just like his father, he was promised to a career as a civil servant. At first in law enforcement but after his military service in 1882 it was instead agreed he would go to the Military academy of Mrenatjaros, with the help of a scholarship from the Docetic Faculty of Kiröt and a loan from his maternal grandfather. In 1883 he entered a joint program between the Triple Monarchy and Garima and was sent to the latter country to pursue his studies. He returned to the Lushyodorstag in 1885 and entered the military with the rank of lieutenant. He was then affected to the Sixth Army where he would befriend another military officer, the then capitain Hortankh Bolsar. They would seemingly part ways a few years later as they were promoted to different units, but they would, for better or worse, remain in close contact.
When Hortankh Bolsar created the Kopony Clique, he naturally invited the friends he judged trustworthy into it. Among them was Orbraggar who, despite his relative low-rank compared to the other members, was still considered an equal during the Clique' discussions, debates, and reunions as per Bolsar' oral rules for the society. In 1901, Orbraggar was nominated as the Military attaché to the embassy in Garima. His mission ended 4 years later, and he was then recalled to Angrast where he was promoted to the rank of Major general and placed at the head of the Military intelligence service. It's there that he would first meet Vernesto Skolad who would become thorough the years his right-hand man.
His new position allowed him to become more active in the Kopony Clique' discussions. Although just like every other members he agreed to the necessity of reforms without falling to populism, as most socialist movements were caracterized in their eyes, Orbraggar defended a Unitarist, anti-nationalist vision alongside Hortankh Bolsar and the majority of the Clique' members, in opposition to a minority who wished to keep the federal system of the Triple-Monarchy, or even to divide it further along ethnic lines. What Orbraggar and Bolsar disagreed on however, was the necessity for violence and the role of the Monarchy in the future state. When Bolsar became the Royal Enforce in 1911, they both began to believe that top-down reforms through the monarchy could be possible through this new position, but King Ansmar II' passivity and political manoeuverings made the plan an illusory dream and a dead-end. It's then that Bolsar, now his life at the mercy of any apparent change of opinion from the king, decided that a coup was the only option left. Orbraggar disagreed and refused to participate, leaving Angrast momentarily for the countryside as a sign of protest and neutrality.
The 11th of May 1919, the Constituent Assembly voted the final touches to the new Constitution which got rid of the Triple Monarchy' Federalism and Regionalism and replaced it with a unitary parliamentary republic with a monocameral parliament representing the entirety of the now officialy baptised Drevstran. In this, they followed almost to the letter the old dream of Orbraggar back when he was part of the Kopony Clique. The publication of the new constitution and the birth of the First Republic is remembered in the country' official historiography as the true end of the Civil War. The 12th of May, the Constituent was officially disbanded after one last vote defining the organisation of the future elections for the first ever Parliament of Drevstran in june. The resulting first ever assembly of the new republic was filled with convinced or opportunists Orbraggists who did not hesitate to name their patron and protector Mervoret.
But Orbraggar had been elected leader of a country in ruin. A 1920 census would reveal that the population had fall from 11 to 9 million during the civil war. Iron production had fell to 3% of pre-war levels and Hemp to 7%. The Triple Monarchy had been able to field six professional armies. The Mervoshia had only two left. Rebuilding and modernizing the country's forces was proclaimed by Orbraggar as "his government' first priority" and this goal also allowed him to rebuild Drevstran' economy through government boosts, loans, and tax cuts to the heavy industries. As early as 1919 Orbraggar organized the Regular Planning Commission in which public servants and representatives of Drevstran' chamber of commerce negotiated and organized what would become known as the Rivgerad Plan characterized by its “indicative" nature as opposed to more directive and rigid styles of planifications.
The plan's aim was to develop national production and foreign trade, increase productivity, ensure the full employment of manpower, and to raise the standard of living. Its first task was handling the agricultural question. The Civil War' devastation had made it impossible to know who was the owner of what land. One of the first resolution of the Drevstranese Parliament was to nationalize all lands which had no clear labourer. Each town and village administration had to produce a new "registry of the land" documenting their agricultors and their possessions. What was left was redistributed to war veterans as a form of pension since they were often themselves farmers who had lost everything during the war. What hadn't been distributed was consolidated into larger properties sold to investors and speculators in an attempt to tackle the problem of Drevstran' war debts. Certain old families remade their fortune during this land grab. Notably, the Siranko.
Thereafter, Orbraggar never allowed the Parliament to intervene in the economy despite the fact he himself approved and profiteered from the nationalisation. All economic powers went to the Regular Planning Commission who began its work proper in five critical sectors : coal mining, steel, electricity, cement, and farm machinery. The Commission was setting investment targets and allocating investment funds under the distant watch of Orbraggar who was content to merely make sure trade and cordial relations with Ostrozava, the main commercial partner of Drevstran after the civil war, were maintained while establishing new diplomatic and economic ties were made with other neighbors such as Brumen and Greznea. Despite his own known Garimophilia, relations with Drevstran' southeastern neighbor remained difficult if not antagonistic because of the Royal Question.
While Orbraggar was more than willing to leave economic matters to the Regular Planning Commission, he remained preoccupied and proactive with military questions.
The Drevstranese military was in poor shape following the Civil War. Nonetheless, loyalty to the person of Orbraggar was unflenching to the point of forming a cult of personality among the veterans of the First Army. And despite the poor conditions of the troop, this allowed him to quickly pursue military operations such as the Drev-Ottonian Expedition or the Intervention in Arazija. These interventions in countries torn by civil wars proved to be excellent theatres for the Drevstraneses as it was the exact kind of situation they had experience in.
At the same time, Orbraggar restructured the army to its core. His priority was to re-equip the divisions he already had, bring new arms into the military structure such as aviation - for which he had a passion - and finally to rebuild two navies, one for the Belisarian sea and the other for the Kulpanitsan lake. His main idea of what a navy should be was greatly affected by his experience of the civil war were he came to sorely miss having the capacity to intercept the convoys delivering equipment and resources to Fehrer Farkas and Prince Farza of Kaposlovar. But his real priority was the formation and education of the Officers and Non-commissioned officers of his new army and the development of a thriving academic sector capable of producing theories and doctrines for the military staff to adapt and adopt.
Most of these reforms and reconstructions were not finished by the time Drevstran launched some of its most famous expeditions, but their influence was nonetheless noticeable in the actions and mindset of the troops and officers.
Drev-Ottonian Expeditionary Force
In 1919, Volunteer forces who fought on Orbraggar' side paraded alongside other Drevstraneses units in Angrast to celebrate the end of the war and the proclamation of the new Constitution. Among these foreign forces, the Ottonian Volunteer Army which had joined the civil war on Hortankh Bolsar' side and then became stranded in Eastern Belisaria after 1918, when their home country fell into a civil war of its own. The following year, the Drevo-Ottonian Expeditionary Force was constituted with this very same Volunteer Army accompanied with elements of the 1rst and 9th Drevstranese Armies. The force would thus be able to help the Ottonians for the last years of the Ottonian Civil War and the creation of North Ottonia.
The reasons behind Orbraggar' decision to participate in a conflict on the other side of the continent so soon after the end of the civil war are unclear. It seems to have been out of a sense of duty toward the men who had fought for him, to acquire first hand experience of modern warfare in another country, make a good will gesture toward Ostrozava by making clear his dedication to republicanism, and to secure another potential trade partner at the international.