Nous ne sommes rien, soyons tout! - A Cold War TL

The end of the War
After a long time of thinking, designing, and writing, I welcome you to my first TL.

February 2nd, 1943: the General Paulus has surrendered in Stalingrad.

Up until this point, German victory in the 2nd Great War was, for some, unavoidable. However, the harsh defeat at Stalingrad changed the course of the war, and the course of History.
From this point onwards, the German war machine started to break down. The Red Army then proceeded to advance to the Black Sea and the lands of Ukraine and Belarus.
Later that year, the Italian government ousted Mussolini, and requested an armistice, leading to a quick German invasion of the peninsula and the establishment of the puppet Italian Social Republic, while the allies occupied Sicily and Southern Italy up to Naples.
The rest of 1943 and the first semester of 1944 were spent by building up forces in Southern Italy, air-raiding the coasts of Germany, and the Soviet advancing in liberating the Ukrainian and Belarussian SSR.

After a bloody battle in the English straits, in which the Allies were able to land in Normandy but were unable to advance, and forced to return to England, the Germans were eager to improve its Atlantic Wall and forced to move some divisions from the Eastern Front to France.

Then, the Axis started to fall apart:
Bucharest fell July 27th 1944, after the Romanian King (Michael I) declared a full ceasefire with the Red Army in mid-July.
One week after, the combined Free French, British, and American forces landed at Provence, near Cannes, which triggered nation-wide partisan uprisings.

Meanwhile, in the Balkans and the Italian Social Republic, Soviet-alligned partisans were able to take power, liberating Yugoslavia, Albania, Greece and part of northern Italy, as the Allied progress in central Italy had been slowing lately.
Initially, the Italian Partisans were a united front, which supported the new government in the south. However, the distrust for the King, the one who even after the coup against the Duce was said to be supportive of him, combined with the fact that the new Prime Minister, Badoglio, had been supportive of fascism, and the one figure known for atrocities against civilians in Libya, Ethiopia, and Greece, didn’t help reconciliation. Other appointed ministers of the new government which had a obscure background were Gaetano Azzariti (a fierce anti-semite, responsible for the judiciary and repression under Mussolini), Domenico Bartolini, Guido Jung, or Pietro Baratono, among others.
Subsequently, the main Partisan divisions in Italy refused to collaborate with the new government and instead went on to liberate areas by their own with the support of Tito’s partisans, and air support from the Soviet Union.

By September, the Allies successfully landed on Southern and Northern France and advanced in the Rhône Valley almost unopposed, while attacking Normandy against fierce German resistance. At the same time, Warsaw was liberated (after the Polish Resistance revolted in mid-september) October 1st.
The 26th of October, Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill met in Tehran, the 3rd of a row of international Conferences between the major allied leaders.
By November, France and the Balkans had been liberated, while the Allies and the Soviet Union began the invasion of the German Reich proper in early December.

1945 would be the year of Victory.

German morale was low, its manpower lower, and so its resources. Suicides were rampant in Berlin among Nazi-officers and simpatizers. Teens were dragged to the desperate defense of the city. It wasn't enough.
Finally, after Berlin was captured by the USSR in February 27th, the Allies reached the Rhine and Oldenburg the next few days, while in Italy, a joint Soviet-Yugoslav contingent occupied Northern Italy after talks between Stalin and the CPI’s leadership, which commanded a majority of the partisan units in the region.

March 3rd, 1945 would be remembered in Europe and outside as the Victory Day, when the High Command of German Forces signed the unconditional surrender.

With the resisting German forces surrendering in the next days, and the Allied liberation of Europe, the War on Europe had finished.

After 6 years and countless deaths, injuries, and horrors, Nazism was no more.


Picture: Soviet and American soldiers shaking hands in northern Germany, near Bremen, the day of the surrender.
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Modern map of the European Front 1944-1945:
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Fascinating scenario - I've always wanted to see a good timeline tackle the issue of a farther Soviet advance and the resulting fallout in the post-war situation. The post-war situation in Italy is definitely going to be a huge clusterfuck. Assuming that occupied Italy ends with a north-south divide, it's likely that the monarchy holds on in the Allied occupied area considering the '46 referendum results showed still prominent monarchist sentiment in the south of the country. It'll also be fascinating to see how different the PCI and radical + republican politics are in Italy after the ITTL collapse of the Svolta di Salerno bloc. A heavier communist presence in the Mediterranean will have interesting ramifications as well - Turkey is in a really bad position here and would probably be forced into an armed neutrality at very least. Significant French self-liberation through mass partisan actions will also probably have big ramifications for the French left which could significantly undermine/alter Gaullism. Overall, I would imagine the Cold War will be much more brutal and intense with a far weaker Allied position in Europe. Let’s just hope it doesn't end in nuclear fire, but looking forward to reading this one either way!
 
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The fate of Italy
In the aftermath of World War II, Italy was occupied by the victorious states.

The Allies, during its meetings, agreed on a joint occupation of Italy.
It was not inevitable, though. However, the breakup of relations between the new royal government and the partisan divisions created the mutual feeling that a temporary occupation by the Allies until a final agreement is reached was the best provisional solution, to avoid any possibility of a civil war.

And so it was.

5 countries occupied Italy: France, the USA, the UK, the USSR and Yugoslavia.
France occupied the regions of Aosta, Piedmont and Liguria, and stablished its headquarters at Genoa.
The USSR, Lombardy, Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna, with headquarters at Milan.
Yugoslavia did the same in South Tyrol, Veneto and Friuli, having at Vicenza its headquarters.
The UK did occupy central Italy: Lazio, Umbria, Marche, Abruzzo and Molise, with headquarters at Latina.
Finally, the USA occupied the rest of the Peninsula, Sicily and Sardinia.
The City of Rome itself and an area sorrounding it was occupied jointly by the USA and UK. The USSR relinquished any claim on any share of Rome’s occupation after the UK and USA did so with Berlin, after intense pressure put on the USA by the British.


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In the territories held by the USSR, Yugoslavia and France, the administrative and governmental committees set by the Partisans (the majority of them having a left-wing leaning, if not communist) in latter stages of the war were respected and worked jointly with the Military Administration.
The ICP and the USSR had been working in secret during 1944 and 1945, and they knew that the Americans woudn't ever let Italy turn to Communism, and they had some ideas about how to solve this situation.

Meanwhile, in the south, the occupiers backed the King Emmanuel II and its government, believing him to be the legitimate government of Italy.

It was no surprise to see that relations between the former Allies were deteriorating, occupation in Italy being one of the main points of dispute.
One of the matters that the Allies did agree on was that nationwide elections were necessary. However, when the USA announced that elections were coming on December 1947 to his and the UK’s zones of occupation, Stalin was angered.

The South Italian elections of 1947 were the first elections of what was to become known as “South Italy”, officially the Kingdom of Italy.
In response, the Franco-Yugoslav-Soviet zone of occupation organized its own election, to elect the "People's Assembly", which was to be the legal, post-occupation government of (North) Italy : 18th of April, 1948.


This election was not a regular one, and it had long-lasting consequences, that go as far as today.

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