Noi non ci saremo - An Italian spin-off of "Protect and Survive: A Timeline"

So they're kind of an elite national police unit? Sorry for my ignorance, never been to Italy and don't know much about it or its people. Hope to see more of the good work.

Thank you again; the men you saw in the closing lines are members of one of the most controversial organization ever seen in Italy, GLADIO. Researching about it, keep in mind that the whole Stay-Behind NATO structure issue is a particularly biases-prone story (on both sides) and often the truth or something close to it, could lay in the middle.
Ok, so they're kind of a right wing NATO supported terrorist or para-military (depending on who you ask) group to fight the communists after WWIII. Sort of a 5th column. Might be useful to help reconstruction.
Ok, so they're kind of a right wing NATO supported terrorist or para-military (depending on who you ask) group to fight the communists after WWIII. Sort of a 5th column. Might be useful to help reconstruction.

Yes, at least this was the theory behind their creation, but as Mario rightly pointed their history, at least in Italy, is shrounded in mistery and change a lot depending by who is the narrator. Many suspects/decry that Gladio was used/set-up to commit terrorist act against the left(legal and extra-legal) or made to appear to accuse the PCI.
Seem that there were issue of who effectively controlled the organizzation in the whole or at least some parts, so we can have people killing suspected comunist sympatyzer or simply people who hate with army issued weapons and with a lot of training and this can really create an enviroment who can easily transform itself in a civil war (even of low level type like post-WWII Italy), at least IMVHO.
Similar to what I figured, hyper-controversial, hyper-secret. So will GLADIO prove to unify the Italian survivors or drive them apart?
Italy as a country has always suffered to some extent from the tendency to split apart.Following the war the industrialised north would be wiped out the south while being hit as well mainly military bases alongside Naples,Palermo and a few other cities would be better off.Exactly what allegiance would surviving soldiers and carabinieri swear is a matter of debate.We should keep in mind surviving units would be largely second-rate the elite would have been almost completely wiped out.Don't expect anything like the Alpini to still be around expect something like untrained or poorly trained conscripts who where placed on guard duty in some remote part of the country while all the others where sent to the front lines.
Italy as a country has always suffered to some extent from the tendency to split apart.Following the war the industrialised north would be wiped out the south while being hit as well mainly military bases alongside Naples,Palermo and a few other cities would be better off.Exactly what allegiance would surviving soldiers and carabinieri swear is a matter of debate.We should keep in mind surviving units would be largely second-rate the elite would have been almost completely wiped out.Don't expect anything like the Alpini to still be around expect something like untrained or poorly trained conscripts who where placed on guard duty in some remote part of the country while all the others where sent to the front lines.

In fact the Alpini units are the ones who got the better chances to survive: they are recruited almost entirely from the same zones they have to defend (like the San Giusto in Trieste or the Venetian Lagunari) and are fine with dispersing and operating in small groups; moreover you can hit Bolzano and Aosta but you can't nuke any Alpine valley ;). What eventually could be complicated is joining or at least communicate with other (possible) survivors along the peninsula, given probable strikes in the NE. However you're right saying that an out-of-the-way training battalion is very low in the target list of WP.
Still post-war the vast majority of the Italian army would be formed of the second-rate units.While some highly trained units would survive here and there most would be barely trained conscripts that where on their way to their units when the war went nuclear.The best of best would largely have died or would die of injury or radiation sickness in the following weeks.We should expect a high desertion rate among these survivors since many would see little purpose in continuing.A 20 year old conscript from some village in Sicily might not understand what the purpose is to go to whatever is left of the north he might also be counting on the fact that the police force has largely been destroyed.Even threats of execution might not work since in the view of many going to the radioactive wastelands from the north would be worse.
Dear Mario, let's expect a real mess after the fallout subsides. The army will be mostly annihilated, as for the best units on the front and the main military districts. The Carabinieri will be the last bastion of national unity. Gladio will prove useless in its avowed function of countering the Soviets, since they'll never occupy anything beyond, at (their) best, an irradiated Veneto,before their logistic tether snaps in utter chaos.
As another resident Italian, I'll gladly follow the updates. I'm especially curious about the probable list of targets for the nuke hailstorm.
The targets would be US military bases in Italy,main italian military bases,front line troops would receive tactical strikes,also strikes on suspected or confirmed locations of NATO nuclear weapons in Italy,Italy is part of the nuclear sharing strategy so in the event of a war nukes would be available on italian soil.The capital Rome would receive multiple strikes,strikes also on Milan,Torino,Genoa, Naples Palermo considering the way this timeline has evolved Trieste and Venice as well due to proximity to the front lines.It deserves mention these cities would be hit in some cases due to their closeness to military bases like Naples which has right next to it an important US Navy base or Catania located close to NAS Sigonella.Take into account a few nukes going of course by more than 10 km and Italy would have received probably 70-90 nuclear strikes not counting a few dozen tactical strikes on the front lines with a high likelyhood of chemical weapons use as well.
Ivfl, basileus, you have made good remarks but remember that Carabinieri have an in-depth spread on territory (i.e.: even a small village with 3000 inhabitants has its local station with about ten/twelve/fifteen men in service.) and that many of them (excluding the two armored brigades in Trentino and Friuli) were assigned to internal security and unless in a targeted zone, they'll be probably where they are supposed to be. Desertion: you're right, there will be somebody who before, during and after the strikes left his unit; anyway, as Jack suggested in his thread, as long the soldiers have access to food, water and the necessary drugs they'll probably do what the commandants told them.

Chapter II: Standoffs

"E questa, amici miei, è una storia disonesta"
Stefano Rosso, 1977

Alghero-Fertilia Airport - Fertilia (SS), Italy
01:47 PM CET, 02/21/84.

The hatches were opened, they got a clearer view. Cossiga left behind him the other uniformed men and, accompanied only by three Carabinieri (one Colonnello and two Maggiori), headed toward the airplane hosting Pertini and Craxi. Reached the ramp, the escort gave salute to the two Presidenti and were mirrored by the other in front of them (four high officers of the Comando Carabinieri Guardie del Presidente della Repubblica, colloquially called Corazzieri). In a rigorous ceremonial order, the passengers got off. Cossiga warmly shook hands with them while, from the other DC-9s, further civilian authorities now on the ground looked around. A frowning Pertini, before that Presidente del Senato could go away to meet the remaining VIPs, went straight to the point.

<< Senatore Cossiga, what does this masquerade means? Why on the earth are you here, wearing a camouflage? And those men? Who are them? >>

He was tensely watched and listened by almost anyone there, distance didn't matter.

The Sardinian politician didn't lose an affable tone.

<< Presidente, Senatori, Onorevoli. Let me reassure you will receive answers as soon as we arrive in a more secure location. We are still open air in a potential target zone and I'm sure...>>

Pertini remained adamant.

<< Senatore, I want a reply now.>>

<< Presidente, we are in a place that could be easily targeted by Russians at any time. You and all the presents has already been informed by Generale Calboni and Dottor De Angelis about this relocation, I do not understand such insistence on...>>

<< Senatore, listen to me. You are the Presidente del Senato, if by some misfortune I should be incapacitated or killed, as the second most important post of the Republic, you will be my substitute. I presume that you know it as well. So, why are you here before us and why are you wearing a uniform that anyway do not seems to belong to our army?>>

<< Presidente, after Parliament works had been suspended with the state of war I decided to come back to my Sassari residence, remaining nevertheless traceable to you by my private telephone. When the 9° Battaglione Carabinieri's HQ in Cagliari was informed about present situation, they immediately dispatched their men and found me. They didn't concede me time to dress, but I could not receive guests like you in nightwear for sure, therefore they gave me what they got in stock.>>

Concern and distrust still didn't left the faces.

<< Cossiga, let's talk frankly; are those gentlemen Carabinieri? Colonnello?>> Craxi broke in, preceding Pertini.

<< Onorevole, they do not belong to the Arma but they are under our and, of course, your control.>> answered the officer.

This time was Pertini to take the floor.

<< Colonnello, even if we are at war, this remains a democratic republic. We have armed forces to protect the country and they do what the people's representatives want that they do. We are not in Francoist Spain, we are not in some unfortunate South American state ruled by a reactionary junta; we do not need politicians wearing camouflage, we do not need military recruiting people outside of prescribed channels for unknown tasks. After the P2 affair your colleague swore me that they would have operated in a crystal clear way. It grieves me deeply to see that you can not fulfill your promises.>>

<< Presidente,>> continued the Colonnello << Generale Calboni, as SISMI chief, and the Ministro, Onorevole Andreotti, should have no problem in illustrating you the absolute fairness of our activities.>>

Calboni casted an unhopeful glance to Andreotti, that stayed seraphical nodding at him.

Che stronzi, they have handed the hot potato to me. If we get out of this war alive, I swear I'll send Mendler to serve as attache in Kampala.

He heaved a long sigh.

<< Presidente, the men were recruited, trained and organized along the lines provided by NATO "Clandestine Planning Committee" and subscribed by Italy in the early 50s. Every Presidente del Consiglio since De Gasperi knew about this structure and its functions. It is a fully legit Atlantic stay-behind organization, thought to remain dormant unless...critical situations would have arisen. SISMI and Esercito followed and follow strictly legal provisions and...>>

Pertini turned his scathing eyes.

<< Onorevoli, and I'm talking especially to you, Andreotti, Spadolini, Forlani, Craxi... Why did I not know anything about something resembling a subversive organization hidden inside the state itself? We are all old enough to remember another occasion, the Generale De Lorenzo's "Piano Solo", in which our armed forces and secret services made very... inauspicious, giving them the benefit of the doubt, plans and I'm inclined to believe that even in that case NATO was assisting them. Do you have anything to say?>>

<< I don't remember.>> babbled Vicepresidente del Consiglio Arnaldo Forlani.

<< I don't remember, things I knew as Presidente del Consiglio were different to what I know as Ministro now.>> upheld pitifully Ministro della Difesa Giovanni Spadolini.

<< Sandro, this is madness; I'm disturbed and I was in the dark about it like you.>> denied indignantly incumbent Presidente del Consiglio Bettino Craxi.

Ministro degli Esteri Giulio Andreotti instead shrugged. Then he talked.

<< Presidente, first of all I must confess that I am a concerned by the short memory of my younger honorable colleagues, especially the Onorevole Craxi, who is the by far the younger of us; he signed, as previously me and the present company included did, the necessary papers duly submitted not later than a couple of weeks ago. I believe that Generale Calboni to have them with himself or in Rome.>>

<< What? Hunchbacked liar!>> burst out Craxi.

<< Memories aside: GLADIO, this is the name of the structure, was created, along with parallel organizations in the rest of NATO countries, to have small groups of well-trained and equipped men, of firm democratic beliefs, that were capable to conduct actions behind the enemy lines, in occupied zones, in event of invasion. As one of our most famed former partisans, I expect that you, Presidente, grasp the added value of a similar force immediately.>> continued Andreotti ignoring him.

<< They are all formidable men, ready to act for the fatherland in some of the most dangerous operations.>> added Cossiga.

<< Andreotti, Cossiga, please; I'm having a strong sensation that they could be exactly those splinters of the State that took part, together with the fascist murderers, in the dirtiest crimes of our history, then shamefully covered them. I AM TIRED OF YOUR INTRIGUES AND YOUR OMISSIS!>>.

He was openly shouting.

<< Since I didn't was informed of any enemy invasion in here, and since I can't still see it, I want those men disarmed and arrested until a formal inquiry will bring to light the whole story. And when I say disarmed and arrested I mean IMMEDIATELY!>>

<< Presidente, you can't give such orders!>> shouted back Cossiga.

<< I'm the commander in chief of the Armed Forces, and I will not let go this thing unpunished!>>

<< Sandro, please, we already fixed the question...>> attempted the Presidente del Consiglio.

<< Of course we did it; therefore, as guardian of the Costituzione, I order them to be arrested for continued and flagrant violation of art. 283 of Codice Penale; Generale Ducali, proceed.>>

<< Presidente, I...>>

Craxi intervened.

<< Ducali, do as the Presidente told you>>

<< ...>>

<< Ducali, didn't you hear me? What's the matter with...>>

Craxi was just finishing to speak when, through the thick lenses of his eyeglasses, saw something wrong.

The Gladiatori had ceased to stand to attention, they were unlocking the safety bolts of BM59 IIIs and MABs.

The Carabinieri had turned around to front them, doing the same to their rifles and M12s.

The Corazzieri had formed a small circle around Pertini and drew out personal weapons.

Guns were armed. Guns were aimed at. Sudden silence fell.

A perfect standoff.

Brescia-Ghedi Airport, Ghedi (BS), Italy
01:53 PM CET, 02/21/84.

As home of AMI's 6º Stormo “Alfredo Fusco” and USAF's 7402nd MUNitions Support Squadron detachment, Ghedi airbase was expected to be heavily targeted by enemy aircraft and missiles or to be the stage of sabotage attempts. Indeed it happened. Warsaw Pact jets had established a routine based on two-three daily attacks, a considerable amount of Scud had been earmarked to the airport; like in a twisted version of the Penelope's myth, every night MiGs, Sukhois and Tupolevs undid what in the daylight the jaded men of 506º Gruppo Supporti Logistici Operativi did to maintain runways and structures fit, under an inclement rain and defying delay-action bombs. Scuds were a different thing: lying Ghedi so close to their maximum range, the missiles had miserably failed to get even the perimeter of the base; unfortunately after their erratic flights they often had hit nearby civilian buildings or caused fires in the countryside and more than a military had experienced death in the family because of Soviet SS-1s. As any other Stormo commander across Italy, the desk of Colonnello Navigatore Paolo Ravelli had been flooded that day by messages, evaluations and warnings. SHAPE had sent an hold order and COMAIRSOUTH, COMFIVEATAF, 1º Reparto Operativo Centrale had transmitted their about covering and dispersing AMI assets. He had diligently obeyed and put immediately four Tornado in the air, each one with a pair of B61 Mod-10s set to full yield, awaiting instructions; then, less diligently, he had bypassed the pecking order and called COMFIVEATAF Castoldi, longtime friend of him, to ask if current events would have fulfilled the requirements for triggering OPERAZIONE LAMBDA. At the other end of the line there had been a long "Uhm" followed only by a solitary word, "Rododendro". LAMBDA was in fact just a part of the way more ambitious IPOTESI B of ESIGENZA N. IPOTESI B was a plan devised to seize nuclear warheads from US units in the Italian sites in case of unauthorized or not pre-emptively agreed use of "special weapons" but, differently from IPOTESI A, it was not aimed at preventing further employments of them. It was aimed at allowing Italian armed forces to use them even against NATO's will. Both IPOTESIs had not met any serious attention among the majority of the officers, that usually mocked them as "Dr. Strangelove spoofs" scenarios; furthermore the later Permissive Action Link installed on every tactical device would have made the whole thing useless, because without codes owned and transmitted by POTUS warheads simply did not worked. Decision to dig up such an apparently pointless operation without any military higher commands (excluding COMFIVEATAF, quite ironically, being a NATO structure) knowledge, consensus or support, leaving alone the mandatory approval by civilian leadership, and so setting up virtually for all the involveds sufficient grounds for high treason, had been originated in the end by a casual conversation between the at the time Colonello Castoldi and Tenente Colonnello Pilota Ravelli under a tree pruner in Porto Cervo during a common vacation some years before.

Castoldi had been reading out an obscure pamphlet published by a self-styled Maoist "people's magazine" that, among tirades against AmeriKKKan Imperialism and disdain for Soviet Revisionism, had accused both the superpowers to let their "atomic tools forged in the most evil oppression of the workers" and the "fate of the proletariat" to be "at the mercy of a caste of reactionary militarist madmen"; he had done that mainly to see his friend in turn exploding in a burst against "Communist scum", a show that he always had found amusing. After he had heard, as de rigeueur, calling for firing squads and extermination camps for "the Reds", had asked him, chortling, if he was more annoyed for the fact that they were lefties or for the fact that they were right.

<< It's not funny, Fabio. And you too know that we do not have any goddamned chance to use them here without American assent, they are writing shit, as always. Do you remember that ESIGENZA N? Crap.>>

<< Are you so sure about it?>>

<< Even if we should get warheads on bombs they are not going to explode, no code no bang.>>

<< I shouldn't say it, but there are a couple of things that I...casually discovered on the subject, that could make you change your mind>>

<< Let me guess, the PAL is really a sequence of zeros like that drunken American spook said one time at the Tiger Meet in Cameri.>>

<< Ahahah, Paolo, you are the living folk memory of AMI...but no, it's something even more intriguing. To make a long story short, there is a guy working for my pals in SISMI who leaked me that all around the world there is a bunch of devices already turned on because instead that in White House the schedina is in the pocket of the field commander.>>

<< Bollocks.>>

<< Maybe, but let's elaborate it a little: if you are in a war, I mean one with capital "W", and enemies are going to target your nuclear deterrent and probably also your ability to communicate with it, wouldn't be good to have a reaction force already in the air that need just a go order from the field instead of a mumbo jumbo procedure to strike Soviets back?>>

<< Why the PAL, then?>>

<< Because it should be easier to pick an handful of trusted officers than having to watch out 24/7 all of them. And, until they keep it TS, there will be not jealousy from other commanders or laments from pinko press.>>

Ravelli had thought through deeply, then after a sonorous, loud laugh, had said

<< You already know what I want to know.>>

<< Ghedi is not on the list, at the moment. But if in the future...>>

<< My phone is always open to you, Fabio.>>

<< Let's make a deal; if we should have to go N, I'll say...I don't know, a name of a plant or whatever? Would you grasp it?>>

<< Oh, let's hope we will never have to start botanical.>>

<< Naturally, it's understood. Hey look at those gals? Do you think they're from Sweden or from Germany?>>

From the past sunny summer holidays he had returned to the present rainy winter war days and the riskiest gamble in a life in uniform. He had summoned all the Vigilanza Aeronautica Militare conscripts and the Carabinieri assigned to protect the base. He had briefly explained their tasks and refreshed some very rusty memories about LAMBDA. He had stressed the absolute need for radio silence and secrecy. Explanations to the upper ranks had not been a priority. There had not been objections. The airmen and the CC had mounted, often under rubber raincoats, in their means of transport. Foolish, unconfirmed rumors had been whispered in the truck beds and in the backseats of dark blue cars: war is over; Americans are leaving Europe; we have signed a separate peace; Americans are going to bomb us; Russians are asking for a ceasefire after the bomb in Germany; a coup is occurred in Rome. Fears and silent prayers. A young soldier had cried without restraint, rain and tears all the same.

In less than a minute they were all around the USAF section. Sirens and high beams, they were not hiding themselves at all. Ravelli climbed on the top of the cab of FIAT ACL75.14 WM. Outside of the underground bunker where warheads were stocked, a puzzled US Air Force Security Police company raised its weapons. American highest officer, USAF Major Rawlinson T. Foster emerged from the entrance.

<< Colonnello Ravelli, what the hell are you doing?>> shouted.

<< Major Foster, in compliance with the dispositions of COMFIVEATAF, I have order to get possession of all the special munitions present in these structures. I want all your military and civilian personnel outside of the shelter disarmed and with raised hands so that our specialists could go inside it and execute their task. I have order to use force to implement present dispositions if you or any of your men should try to prevent them.>> shouted back him with a bullhorn.

<< You're as mad as a hatter, I will not do anything without a written and confirmed order by USAFE commander. I 'm going to back to my post and call WEST STAR, I want to know what is going on here>> said turning his back to Ravelli.

<< If you don't raise your hands and freeze, I will order to open the fire. >>

Foster U-turned and, among the worried looks of his men, walked straight to the ACL75's front bumper. He looked up to Ravelli, still standing on the cab.

<< Come on, go in the vault and take all the warheads you want. I can't believe you're so idiot to forget how they work and to delude yourself that you will not end up hanged as soon as they'll found out this.>>

Stormo's leader dismounted to the ground and went no more than ten centimeters from Foster.

<< I know you have some of them already activated.>>

<< You must be completely fucked up, some are already armed, but activation requires...>>

<< Fairytale stops here. If activation is needed why one of your bombers has dropped one of these on West Germany and now we have Reagan trying to sell the "unauthorized" thing to the Soviets?>>

<< I don't know, ask it to them, ask it to Reagan, ask it to the...>>


Somewhere around Maslianico-Roggiana pass, Italian-Swiss International Border
02:07 PM CET, 02/21/84

Giuseppe Saponaro was doing his best to run against the coldest wind he had ever seen. He was braving fear and fever, the frozen snot on his thin jet black mustaches and the dirty slush in his rubber boots. He had worked for more than ten years in Switzerland: Valais, Ticino, Uri, Bern, wherever a good handyman had been needed. He had suffered racial slurs, homesickness, lower wages just because he was a Gastarbeiter. He had never given up. He had been focused only in working hard and stay away from troubles. He would have been a model citizen, but to be a Swiss citizen he still needed one year, three months and five days of residence in the Confederation. He had been confident about make it when this absurd, damned war had exploded. He had cursed Russians, Americans, Germans, British, French even Italians for this. Frontiers had been closed, only Swiss-passported had been allowed to cross them to return home. The same agents at the border station that he had almost befriended during this long seasons had rebuffed him like he had been a perfect stranger to them. He had never given up and he was not giving up not even now. He had decided to go back to Lugano, no matter what it would have taken. But now he was feeling to have lost sense of direction, he was feeling to have lost all feeling in his fingers. He looked up in the sky. He cursed again all the men and the woman in the world, all the peoples he could have rememebred. He cursed God. Then he saw a white and red helicopter. For a moment he had a preposterous hope that it would have landed here, and friendly faces soon would have appeared and they would have embarked him and they would have given to him strong coffee and they would have...

Seated in a comfortable heated leather seat, the only passenger of the rotorcraft, an aged but fashionable man wearing a tailor made ash grey suit and a white grey tie, looked absentmindedly outside the porthole. Then he saw a clearly disgraced man knee deep in half-melted snow.

Che grandissimo coglione he said smiling, then he turned his attention to the snow reports for Sankt Moritz in the newspaper.

Somewhat funny to have a standoff with soviet warheads at most one hour away.Something of a isn't there a better time to have this than now?Italy is about to get nuked and this is what they waste time for?:D


Monthly Donor
It is at just such moments of heightened tensions and deep uncertainty that those convinced of their own righteousness would be most tempted to "Save the Nation". ;)

Nice job, Mario. :cool:

The Avvocato flies away...
(out of sheer curiosity: where the heck are Juventus' players now? The team was evacuated with families somewhere, say at Villar Perosa?)
As for Pertini, well, for rigid he was I think even he would have asked questions later, in such a moment.
Anyone care to speculate what happened to Toto Cutugno,I know it diverges from the thread but this guy was a very popular italian singer back then.Especially for people behind the Iron Curtain like my parents where and if i remember correctly he would have just released his biggest hit single in 1983 L'Italiano.So what do you think did he survive flee or die in the nuclear war or aftermath? in this timeline it would be months before the war