Italo-Yugoslav war

Say the Nazis never rise in Germany and ww2 doesn't happen. But Mussolini still rises in Italy. Is it possible for there to just be an Italo Yugoslav war in the 20s or 30s? Such a war could be started by either side. Yugoslavia could start it using the treatment of Slavs in Istria as a casus beli, Italy could start it to gain more Dalmatian coastline. I have a few questions here.

1. Who would win?
2. How would other countries get involved?
3. What does this mean for the other Balkan nations?
4. How does this affect the internal stability of Yugoslavia? Could we end up with a more united Yugoslav nationalism among the people?
 
Say the Nazis never rise in Germany and ww2 doesn't happen. But Mussolini still rises in Italy. Is it possible for there to just be an Italo Yugoslav war in the 20s or 30s? Such a war could be started by either side. Yugoslavia could start it using the treatment of Slavs in Istria as a casus beli, Italy could start it to gain more Dalmatian coastline. I have a few questions here.

1. Who would win?
2. How would other countries get involved?
3. What does this mean for the other Balkan nations?
4. How does this affect the internal stability of Yugoslavia? Could we end up with a more united Yugoslav nationalism among the people?
1) Mussolini actually had his Generals draw up plans for a war against Yugoslavia (they didn’t, but he was told that Italy would be outnumbered, outgunned, beset on both sides and would have inferior equipment to the French in case of a war). The Yugoslavians, Czechoslovakians and the Romanians were all heavily tied to France. It was called the little Entente. As long as they were allied to France, he wouldn’t start a war with them. The Yugoslavians wouldn’t try to start a war either. The rise of Hitler gave him more freedom to start wars, because Britain and France were understandably distracted.

2) Mussolini did scheme to cause internal division in Yugoslavia by supporting Croatian nationalism IIRC.
 
1) Mussolini actually had his Generals draw up plans for a war against Yugoslavia (they didn’t, but he was told that Italy would be outnumbered, outgunned, beset on both sides and would have inferior equipment to the French in case of a war). The Yugoslavians, Czechoslovakians and the Romanians were all heavily tied to France. It was called the little Entente. As long as they were allied to France, he wouldn’t start a war with them. The Yugoslavians wouldn’t try to start a war either. The rise of Hitler gave him more freedom to start wars, because Britain and France were understandably distracted.

2) Mussolini did scheme to cause internal division in Yugoslavia by supporting Croatian nationalism IIRC.
Is it possible for the little Entente to break down while not screwing over the Yugoslavs too much?
 
Is it possible for the little Entente to break down while not screwing over the Yugoslavs too much?
The nucleus of the little Entente was France though and the French are going to continue supporting it to maintain their influence in the Balkans and Central Europe. Germany was France’s principal rival, but since the Versailles treaty significantly restricted Germany as a military power, the Soviet Union was communist and Britain was their principal ally, France’s principal rival in the 1920’s was Italy. The French army was significantly stronger than the Italian army, but their Navy wasn’t and at the Washington Treaty, the Italians had been granted Naval parity with France. The only way the little Entente is going to break down is if the French are preoccupied like they were OTL when Hitler started rearming Germany.

As for the Yugoslavians, losing French backing would be a significant blow to them. The small and young states in Eastern Europe were dependent on the League of Nations and British and French support for the status quo to maintain their sovereignty. Without a patron among the great powers, the Yugoslavians might become prey for revisionist states. Italy wasn’t the only country that would be interested in expanding at their expense. Austria, Hungary and Bulgaria had all lost out in the last war. By the start of World War 2, Czechoslovakia and Albania had been swallowed. Then they went for Poland. The Polish themselves took out a peice of Czechoslovakia at the Munich agreement and in 1939 and 1940, the Soviet Union took land from the Finns and the Romanians.
 
As for the Yugoslavians, losing French backing would be a significant blow to them. The small and young states in Eastern Europe were dependent on the League of Nations and British and French support for the status quo to maintain their sovereignty. Without a patron among the great powers, the Yugoslavians might become prey for revisionist states. Italy wasn’t the only country that would be interested in expanding at their expense. Austria, Hungary and Bulgaria had all lost out in the last war. By the start of World War 2, Czechoslovakia and Albania had been swallowed. Then they went for Poland. The Polish themselves took out a peice of Czechoslovakia at the Munich agreement and in 1939 and 1940, the Soviet Union took land from the Finns and the Romanians.
So would there be any way for an Italy Yugoslav solo war to happen? Maybe Yugoslavia fights with French financial and military support?
 
So would there be any way for an Italy Yugoslav solo war to happen? Maybe Yugoslavia fights with French financial and military support?
OTL they were offered some territorial and economic concessions in exchange for a non-aggression pact. If Mussolini is convinced to accept it by Ciano, Grandi, Balbo or one of the other advisors that opposed the war he’d probably still start a war with Yugoslavia sometime during World War 2. I’d doubt that it would go well though given their armies OTL performance in Greece. The Italian armies officer corps was truly atrocious with few exceptions. I don’t know what they were being taught at Modena Academy, but if any Italian is reading this and has some insight, I’d be really interested in finding out. He probably wouldn’t want to bring the Hungarians or the Bulgarians into the war and split the spoils. They might still win in a way similar to the Soviet Unions victory over Finland though given the disparity in numbers (Yugoslavia had a population of 14 million agains 45 million Italians). OTL, they’d foolishly split Italy’s meager resources between three fronts in East Africa, North Africa and the Balkans. If they concentrate the efforts on Yugoslavia, they’d probably win eventually although at a high cost.
 
OTL they were offered some territorial and economic concessions in exchange for a non-aggression pact. If Mussolini is convinced to accept it by Ciano, Grandi, Balbo or one of the other advisors that opposed the war he’d probably still start a war with Yugoslavia sometime during World War 2. I’d doubt that it would go well though given their armies OTL performance in Greece. The Italian armies officer corps was truly atrocious with few exceptions. I don’t know what they were being taught at Modena Academy, but if any Italian is reading this and has some insight, I’d be really interested in finding out. He probably wouldn’t want to bring the Hungarians or the Bulgarians into the war and split the spoils. They might still win in a way similar to the Soviet Unions victory over Finland though given the disparity in numbers (Yugoslavia had a population of 14 million agains 45 million Italians). OTL, they’d foolishly split Italy’s meager resources between three fronts in East Africa, North Africa and the Balkans. If they concentrate the efforts on Yugoslavia, they’d probably win eventually although at a high cost.
In the case of a Yugoslav victory how would it affect Yugoslav nationalism? Could this being a patriotic, make or break war for the country cause more people in the country to embrace a Yugoslav national identity.
 
In the case of a Yugoslav victory how would it affect Yugoslav nationalism? Could this being a patriotic, make or break war for the country cause more people in the country to embrace a Yugoslav national identity.
To an extent, but they already sort of had that with the partisans of WW2. The Yugoslavians still fell out after Tito died. I don’t know if it’s possible to keep them together in the long run without a charismatic leader.
 
To an extent, but they already sort of had that with the partisans of WW2. The Yugoslavians still fell out after Tito died. I don’t know if it’s possible to keep them together in the long run without a charismatic leader.
But in otl the existence of Ustase and the resentment of Serbs against Croats for the genocide is what caused the eventual collapse.

Assuming a more united front is maintained and no traitorous puppet regime is succesfully established by Italy, things could go differently.
 
But in otl the existence of Ustase and the resentment of Serbs against Croats for the genocide is what caused the eventual collapse.

Assuming a more united front is maintained and no traitorous puppet regime is succesfully established by Italy, things could go differently.
Nigh impossible unless the king is someone else. In fact, since this Yugoslavia was Serb-dominated, they would not even fight Italy that hard for the coastal areas, where few Serbs lived. Italy would be able to cut a deal with Belgrade, most likely. If the Yugoslav leadership were stubborn, they would find a few ethnicities acting unenthusiastically during the war (Croats, Macedonians). The Ustaše were a fringe group, but even the average Croat had little desire to die for Royalist Yugoslavia.
 
Nigh impossible unless the king is someone else. In fact, since this Yugoslavia was Serb-dominated, they would not even fight Italy that hard for the coastal areas, where few Serbs lived. Italy would be able to cut a deal with Belgrade, most likely. If the Yugoslav leadership were stubborn, they would find a few ethnicities acting unenthusiastically during the war (Croats, Macedonians). The Ustaše were a fringe group, but even the average Croat had little desire to die for Royalist Yugoslavia.
I don´t agree for two reasons, first Italy was seen as a backstabber when they attacked A-H in 1915 secondly because the well known Italian ambitions on Croatian territory not to forget that there was already a Croatian resitance movement prior to WW2 in the areas Italy got in WW1 in the form of TIGR
 
Nigh impossible unless the king is someone else. In fact, since this Yugoslavia was Serb-dominated, they would not even fight Italy that hard for the coastal areas, where few Serbs lived. Italy would be able to cut a deal with Belgrade, most likely. If the Yugoslav leadership were stubborn, they would find a few ethnicities acting unenthusiastically during the war (Croats, Macedonians). The Ustaše were a fringe group, but even the average Croat had little desire to die for Royalist Yugoslavia.
wasn’t it one of the primary foreign policy goals of the Serbs, to get a domestic port? They didn’t want to be landlocked. Even if many of the Serbian political and military leaders didn’t care about the Croats, I’d think that they’d fight for direct access to the Sea.
 
Nigh impossible unless the king is someone else. In fact, since this Yugoslavia was Serb-dominated, they would not even fight Italy that hard for the coastal areas, where few Serbs lived. Italy would be able to cut a deal with Belgrade, most likely. If the Yugoslav leadership were stubborn, they would find a few ethnicities acting unenthusiastically during the war (Croats, Macedonians). The Ustaše were a fringe group, but even the average Croat had little desire to die for Royalist Yugoslavia.
Is it possible Yugoslavia could be less Serb dominated and be a more equal nation of all south slavs.
 
wasn’t it one of the primary foreign policy goals of the Serbs, to get a domestic port? They didn’t want to be landlocked. Even if many of the Serbian political and military leaders didn’t care about the Croats, I’d think that they’d fight for direct access to the Sea.
They would be happy with Albanian and Montenegrin ports, and I see them handing the rest over to Italy. Croats were seen as trouble by Belgrade.
 
Problem with Yugoslavia is mainly political, with Serbian Nationalism and Croatian Separatism causing a lot of problems. One good thing that was done by the leadership in Belgrade was the establishment of Croatian Banovina, a semi-autonomous province, which unified all Croatian lands under one authority, but it simply came too late, especially after 20 years of Serbian domination, 1928 assasination of Croatian politicians in Parlament and counter assasination of Yugoslav king few years later. It was established in 1939, and while it could have worked out if Yugoslavia had a decade or two of peace, German invasion less then 2 years after, destroyed that. Frankly, the Croatian Question has to be dealt with earlier, roughly by mid 1920ies, and Yugoslavia substantially increases its prospects for survival. Ustaše, for all their crimes and evil, were never that numerous, that merry band of murdering idiots numbered barely 200 or so people, and if Croats have another option, especially one that does not include tearing away one of its historical provinces and kow-towing to Italians, I am rather sure they would take it.

Main problem is Serbian leadership is very unlikely to accept Croats gaining that autonomy, because once that happens, Slovenians are likely next ones to demand more, and Cvetković-Maček Agreement (which formed Croatian Banovina in 1939), was rather open ended, and it could be argued that other nationalities would demand more.

There were more threads on this subject, and my personal advice is that we need SI into Serbian/Yugoslav king in 1918/1919 period, and plenty of luck. Without that, Croats might not like Italians, but compared to what they went through when in Yugoslavia, they might drink of the chalice, no matter how bitter it might be.
 
The first Yugoslavia wouldnt be that opposed to Mussolini taking some of the Catholics off its hands, I'm sure Belgrade wouldnt mind giving up some of Dalmatia.
 
They would be happy with Albanian and Montenegrin ports, and I see them handing the rest over to Italy. Croats were seen as trouble by Belgrade.
I don’t know if they could Albania is an Italian protectorate and a war over it would necessarily include a heavy Naval element. I can see them repelling a General Invasion, but I don’t think that they’d be able to take Albania over.
 
I don´t agree for two reasons, first Italy was seen as a backstabber when they attacked A-H in 1915 secondly because the well known Italian ambitions on Croatian territory not to forget that there was already a Croatian resitance movement prior to WW2 in the areas Italy got in WW1 in the form of TIGR
TIGR was mostly Slovenian.
 
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