The Footprint of Mussolini - TL

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Sorairo, Feb 20, 2019.

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  1. Bookmark1995 Bookmark95 Reborn!

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    Well, yes, right now Mussolini's reputation is nearly impeccable.

    1) He gave refuge to the most oppressed nation in history, and has become a supporter of Zionism.

    2) He helped destroy the most evil nation in history-despite being little better than the Nazis in some respects.

    3) He is a good bulwark against a Communist menace.

    It depends on several things: geopolitics, economics, and military success.

    So far, at least, Mussolini has all three things going for him.

    He has defeated the Nazis, kept the economy going, is a crucial ally against the Soviets, and he has acquired a good amount of Mare Nostrum.

    But, as they say, good things don't last forever.

    If geopolitics changes, if military victories don't happen, and if the economy gets worse, suddenly fascism won't be seen as glorious.

    Here are three things that could bring that about:

    1) Economic mismanagement.

    If Italians have poor wages, then you'll see strikes in the street.

    2) Prolonged colonial war.

    If Italians get stuck in a prolonged war in East Africa, it could weaken support for fascism, the same way Estado Novo was weakened by the colonial wars in Southern Africa.

    3) The end of communism

    When communism collapsed OTL, suddenly America turned against its authoritarian allies, because their support was no longer justifiable. The Italian fascists have a good bit of breathing room. I mean, Kissinger OTL thought the Khmer Rouge would be good allies, if only because they hated the Red Vietnamese.

    If communism ends, suddenly there is little justification to support a corrupt government .
     
  2. Threadmarks: Intermission - Italian Sport

    RyuDrago Italian? Yes, but also Roman

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    New side post, something about movies but above all about 1940's sport age in Italy. Again with additions and revisions from Sorairo. Enjoy!

    Mussolini’s Athletes: Italian Sport Under Fascism of Alessio Morisi​


    Italian Fascism was always supportive of sport as entertainment, distraction and prestige - especially when an Italian athlete or team would win an international competition. The most noticeable case in this sense was the boxer Primo Carnera, acclaimed during the years of the triumph and scarcely mentioned if not at all in his later careering period when the losses mounted. Carnera wasn’t forgotten after his retirement however: in the 1940’s he started a rather successful career as actor, his impressive physique allowing him to become the main actor in mythological subjects, where he was a powerful, classical hero fighting monsters and evil rulers in order to save enslaved people and damsels in distress.

    Initially playing the role of Hercules in early movies, Carnera would then take fifteen years after the last movie dedicated to him the role of Maciste. Maciste was a mythologic character invented by Gabriele d’Annunzio, and was a major character in Cabiria (1914), the first Italian kolossal: a good hearted hero with a superhuman strength, initially performed by Bartolomeo Pagano. In the 1940’s, the Italian movie industry believed the times for a revival of Maciste were ready and bet on Carnera; his impulsive character and certain naiveté were very fitting with the character, receiving success in Italian (and eventually in Roman Alliance and even in Israel) cinemas since the start, he played Maciste for several movies until 1952, when he decided to retire due to growing health issues (Carnera would die in 1955).

    The two most iconic movies of Carnera-Maciste were, by chance, some of the most “propagandistic” ones:

    1) Maciste contro i Cimbri (Maciste against the Cimbris, 1944), where he would fight along the Romans in a very fantastic revisitation of the battle of the Raudine Plains, where the invading barbarians were painted so cruelly in their grey and dark robes (even implied scenes of rape, sacrifices and mutilation were added), being practically demonic worshippers, it wasn’t too difficult to see the contemporary Nazi invaders fighting the noble Romans/Italians - leaded by a very bald Marius.

    2) Maciste e Davide contro Golia e i Filistei (Maciste and David against Goliath and the Philistines, 1950), where the hero would travel to Israel during the Biblical era in the war between Hebrews and Philistines (the chronological inconsistency having been long established with the character in prior films.). Even here, the propagandastic reference to the first Israeli-Arab war was evident, the Philistines overwhelmingly played by Libyan and Eritrean performers.

    Carnera through his Maciste acting would reach two important achievements: making of Maciste a definitive symbol of Italian culture – even outside national borders – and also of Fascist culture as well as the pure hearted Roman (Italian) hero fighting for the greater good and always unbeatable. It opened the path to the movie genre known in Italy and the rest of the world as Peplum, classical age inspired productions, centered in Cinecittà with her Golden Age between the 50’s and the 60’s. Between more lavish international productions and ones more modest for Italians, it was an influential movement.

    The apex of the genre would be realised in 1951, in the gigantic international co-production of Attila – which told the (highly exaggerated for propagandistic purposes) story of Romans, Gauls, Visigoths and Britons being forced to work together to defeat the infamous Hun. Through Roman (Italian) mediation, the barbarian forces are finally enlisted and gladly die alongside their Roman comrades at the Battle of the Catalaunian Plains. Carnera would play Flavius Aetius, the victorious general, who even scored an ahistorical kill over the suspiciously Stalin-like title-character. Fittingly, an international cast had been called in, representing each individual tribe (with Alec Guinness and Jean Gabin both getting screen-time). Some fifteen thousand extras were called in for the battle scenes, with unlimited funds from the state, seeing it as the supreme propaganda experience. Sergio Leone would work as assistant director for many scenes, which would start his own fruitful career. While it didn’t turn a profit due to its astronomical budget, it was the highest grossing film in all of Europe, receiving a rare nomination (as a foreign language film) for Best Picture in the United States’s Academy Awards.

    Despite the interest towards boxing, the most preferred sports of the Italians were – and still are today - cycling and football. The interest of the former was rejuvenated yearly by the Giro d’Italia, the most important national multistage race organized by sports newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport (which remains printed in pink coloured pages, hence the winner of the competition receiving the so called ‘maglia rosa’, or pink shirt). The 1940’s would be considered the golden age of the Giro and Italian cycling, for two main reasons:

    1) While the Tour de France, which was the most prestigious multistage race of the world since then, due to the war wasn’t organized from 1940 to 1947, when was resumed, the Giro never stopped (not even during the Italian involvement in the World War) and therefore was a point of attraction for foreign competitors deprived of the Tour. This would consolidate the post-war status of the Giro as the second most important national-scale cycling competition in the world after the Tour.

    2) The decade was marked by the constant competition between the two most accomplished Italian cycling atlethes ever: Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali. The competition was so fierce between the two that entire crowds went to see the passage of the Giro caravan when passing through or near their houses. Italy split in two between Coppi and Bartali’s fans, sparking interest in lesser competitions where the two could have competed, like the Milano-Sanremo or the Giro di Lombardia. In the late 40’s, when the RAI started to transmit delayed and contracted summaries of the Giro’s stages, coffee shops and Case del Fascio with a television were literally assaulted; certain offices and factories even arrived to put a television in the workplace to avoid cases of workers slipping out of work to see the Giro.

    Coppi, who would win the first Giro in 1940, also won the competition in 1941 and 1942, with Bartali arriving always second. In 1943, Belgian Silvère Maes won the Giro. He was the winner of the Tour in 1936 and 1939, and was expected to win in 1940. However, with the invasion of France, the competition was cancelled. Maes, who was a pure professional and lived on that (like other cyclists who agreed to run in the Giro during wartime), decided then to run in the Giro for the first time for money, getting an honourable fourth place. Remaining for his own safety in Italy, he would participate in numerous Giros (until 1947) and even some Huelta a Espana, winning it in 1943 (Franco’s government restoring the competition after the end of the Civil War, reaching an agreement with Rome to perform it in late summer/early fall to not enter in competition with the Giro). This double victory of Maes would later cement his status of national hero in Belgium after his return in home after the end of the war.

    Bartali would finally win again in 1944, winning the Huelta in the same year. The Spanish practically begged Rome to convince Bartali and Coppi to participate the competition. Coppi refused, burned by the defeat in that year; Bartali accepted and won. This would put Coppi into a period of depression, which brought him to not non-participation in the Giro of 1945. Bartali didn’t win, however – a new fresh competitor, Fiorenzo Magni, recently exonerated by military service, came on top instead. The victory of Magni and Bartali’s defeat contributed in shaking up Coppi, who participated and won the Huelta of 1945. Bartali would win again in 1946, Coppi in 1947, finally Magni again in 1948, year when Bartali won the Tour, then Coppi in 1949, winning the Tour as well with Bartali second; bringing Italy the world championship that same year.

    Despite their stellar popularity in and out of Italy, or perhaps because of it, OVRA kept always a watchful eye over the two. The Fascist police knew Coppi had leftist sympathies (he even dared to meet the PSI leader Saragat in Paris in 1949 rather publicly, because he felt invincible at the time to defy the Duce) and Bartali Catholic Democratic ones, to the point legends say Mussolini once stated: “The only people who could bring me down are Coppi and Bartali; thank goodness they hate each other more than they hate me”.

    It was known that the fascist establishment was much more favorable to Magni, a loyal Fascist. But despite his talent, Magni wasn’t able to reach the levels of Coppi and Bartali. With time, fears over the two champions started to decrease. Coppi in the 50’s enjoyed a luxurious life and got entangled in an illicit relation with a married woman (the famous “White Dame”), causing a massive scandal in Italy for the time, with the Vatican arriving to condemn openly the relation and the OVRA attempting to catch them “in flagrant act”. As the woman was arrested because she was found pregnant with Coppi’s son, the fading “Campionissimo” found no better option than directly petitioning Mussolini. Still remembering the insult from 1949, Mussolini wasn’t displeased to have Coppi into his hands. He was starting to enter into his later years and – while never reaching the heights of Stalin or Hitler, he was in a phase of his life where he felt promoting certain petty acts would strengthen his support. He simply asked for Coppi to “join” the PNF (more precisely to declare to be in the Fascist party in an earlier age, more or less when he started his professional career) and eventually become a poster man for Mussolini, making speeches in honour of the Duce in certain occasions. Coppi caved, and he managed to get reunited with his lover, later marrying her in Mexico with a ceremony never recognized in Italy. Coppi didn’t have to endure the humiliation to go across the various Case del Fascio or participate in events where he spoke of Mussolini like he was the second coming of the Messiah for long. Umberto II (through his wife, a Coppi supporter while the King was pro-Bartali) through Ciano and Balbo pressed the Duce to cut it off. Mussolini left Coppi free from his obligations, because he realized the Italians were aware of the forced smiles of the Campionissimo; scandal or not, they weren’t happy seeing him so dejected. Coppi, due to his illicit marriage and family, was practically ostracized and lived the rest of his life, dying in 1960.

    Bartali was easier and yet more difficult to handle at the same time. He would retire to his farm estate, seldom offering advice to a new generations of Italian cyclists, or making sportive commentaries for the RAI, but he kept contact with certain Catholic charity organizations – some of them suspected to be underground channels for the catholic political movement under De Gasperi, then Moro’s leadership and therefore supporting Italian Antifascism. Besides he was Florentine, and the OVRA always was somewhat paranoid towards whoever came from a more traditionally Anti-Fascist Italian city. But As Bartali was living much more low profile than Coppi, the OVRA held back.

    Meanwhile the 1940’s Italian football was dominated by the hegemony of the Torino FC. Being able to gather a pool of young talents, the squad won without interruption all the Italian first league championships from 1943 to 1950, arriving to be the core of the Italian team of the 1950 World Football Championship in Brazil as defenders of Italy’s holder title, after 12 years of hiatus due to the war. As many countries were not ready to participate in the competition, FIFA adopted a unique group cage process in two phases. After beating 3-2 Sweden and 2-0 Paraguay, Italy passed the first group phase; winning 4-3 against Brazil (“The Match Of The Century” according to many footballing historians, starting a long term feud between Italy and Brazil for the title of the world’s greatest footballing nation), 3-2 against Uruguay and finally 3-1 Spain, Italy with a full score won the championship, and also the right to keep forever the Trophy, the so called Jules Rimet Trophy (by FIFA’s decree, to be given to the squad which would win for first three world championships). It was raised by the Azzurri’s captain, Valentino Mazzola. The 1940s ended in triumph for the “Grande Torino”. [1]

    Italy’s sporting dominance in the 1940s was punctuated by the success of the Italian Olympic team in the Summer Games of London of 1948, the first ones after the war. With 11 gold medals won (rowing, fencing, cyclism, football, boxing, water polo, shooting) 30 medals overall, Italy arrived third overall in competitions won behind the US and Sweden, followed by France and a surprising fifth place for Hungary (with King Otto calling the success “the rebirth of Hungary’). But this period would soon end with the coming of 1950s being dominated by the dominance of the Cold War, even in sport. This would lead to one of the most pivotal events of 20th century Italy: the Summer Olympic Games of 1960 in Rome…

    [1]: ITTL there is no tragedy of Superga, hence Italy winning its third World Football Championship in a row. Those 1948 games went slight better for Italy with 1 gold in football slipped from Denmark and 2 in shooting slipped from the US and Switzerland. This will mean the Netherlands will rank 9th while Switzerland and Denmark would fall to 10th and 11th place.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019
  3. thanix01 Well-Known Member

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    Bangkok, Thailand
    I am kinda rusty on my Roman history but if I recall wasn’t there roman emperor that took control over from Roman republic. Modern OTL Media like to paint him as bad guy but he is not actually that bad.

    Anyone know what he is called? For all I know I might mash multiple person together in this description.

    In any case I bet Italian film would probably make him a good strong man who take control over republic to save it from it self.
     
  4. traveller76 Member

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    Fort Worth, TX
    I can see Italian cinema being big into historical films, mystery and even noir type films in partnership with other European film studios. Maciste could show up as a cult film classic in the US in the 70's and 80s (MST3K). Expect the RA to promote Mediterranean culture and travel in Europe and the US.
     
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  5. Sorairo Well-Known Member

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    Aug 9, 2016
    Italian cinema is mostly divided into two films: Big expensive Historical Dramas/Epics about Roman times or the Unification (although the occasional World War Two drama creeps in), or cheap wham-bam-thank-you-mam action films set in the Colonies about faithful, masculine protectors saving their families and villages from either Mafia or Communist rebel desperados. Italian Neo-Realism never really gets off the ground bar a few classics, and the genre is more associated with Germany. Fascist Cinema is not open to wild new ideas - the Church and State are never disrespeted in film. Not many artsy-fartsy films coming out of Italy, at least for now.
     
  6. Drizzt Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps unlike modern day Hollywood, some Italian filmmakers might be able to insert politics in a subtle way.
    Comedies for example. I could see some filmmakers trying to make comedies ostensibly mocking Communism, that just so happen to have a rather anti-authoritarianism tone in general.
    Or action movies who's villains are Mafias, featuring Mafias who's organisational structure, methods and rhetoric might just have parallels to how one-party-states operate. Heck even generic action flicks with Mafia antagonists probably unintentionally showcase those parallels, even with perfectly loyal filmmakers at the helm. So easy for someone to go subtly further.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019
  7. lukedalton Well-Known Member

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    Damn Ryu, you know that now i can't keep out from my mind the movie Attila...with Diego Abbattantuono as the lead
     
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  8. thanix01 Well-Known Member

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    On another note it is true that in the future when fascism face some rough time people may start doubting them, but just like PRC they can also ensure that opposition are suppress as much as possible. They are not democratic nation they can simply ignore the will of the mass (for good or ill).

    Tianmen 2.0 Italian edition

    And from what I gather while it is indeed a horrible event PRC survive through it just fine and seem to be doing rather well after that.

    Though if they have to pull it off they need to do it while ETO and USA still need them.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019
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  9. Alpha-King98760 Aku's most favorite assassin, babe!

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    The future where Aku's evil is law, babe.
    That was a great update!! The 1940’s was truly the “Decade of Italy”.
     
  10. RyuDrago Italian? Yes, but also Roman

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    Italy
    To be honest, Attila was an idea of Sorairo!

    But yes I thought the same XD
     
  11. Threadmarks: Changing Of the Guard

    Sorairo Well-Known Member

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    Aug 9, 2016
    Hey all, I'll be going to America on business soon - might be some time until the next update. I hope this will be enough to keep you pleased for a time.

    Changing Of the Guard

    The Dark Decade: America in the 40s by Wendy Walters

    With the Martin Presidency underway, Democrats breathed a bizarre sigh of relief. It was bizarre in that, while their President had just been impeached and they faced utter obliteration in the elections that year, they were at last free from the Wallace burden. Alben Barkley was considered a sufficient sacrificial candidate to salvage some sense among the population that the Democrats were not all Wallace supporters. Barkley was hard-hit by the Wallace acolytes of the party, notably Vito Marcantonio (who still proudly waved the Pro-Wallace flag, living under day and night guard from lynch-mobs), as a Republican tool. However, as the DNC was coming soon on July 12th, the hierarchy of the Democratic Party was willing and ready to clear their names. That was when the news came in on July 5th that Barkley had received a heart attack due to the massive stress of brutal campaigning in his old age. While he would live, it couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Democrats. There was now no serious candidate anywhere in the line-up for the Democrat nominee: Wallace was under investigation, as was anyone in his cabinet, Barkley was in hospital and everyone knew the chalice was poison to the touch.

    Tensions were astronomical in the Philadelphia Convention Hall from July 12th to 14th. Marcantonio’s faction (called ‘The Progressive Faction) still held significant sway, and had arrived with no intention of going into the night. At the same time, none of the Anti-Wallace candidates wanted anywhere near the candidate position. Many feared literal assassination – others feared that they would be dragged through the incoming waves of Federal investigations that were about to fall on the Democrat Party and didn’t want to endure that level of media scrutiny. The only people with credibility on Communism, the Dixiecrats, had left to establish their own party. The only person who really wanted the role was Marcantonio, who was told by the Mayor of Minneapolis Hubert Humphrey that ‘we would stop the Klan from assassinating you by strangling you with our bare hands first’. Finally, on July 14th, the Democrat hierarchy made their decision – and it was not a pretty picture. The candidate supported by the Democrat Party in the 1948 would be … General Patton.

    The Democrat elite had decided that there was no chance in hell with the current situation. Also, given that they were suspected of being disloyal, the worst possible thing to do was run a campaign against a beloved war hero. The plan was to take the resources from the Presidential elections and put it all into preserving the Democrats in Congress (though donations had plummeted with the certain obliteration Democrats faced in November). They expected that the measure would be a tough-sell – they badly underestimated the reaction. At word of what had been agreed (behind closed doors), the Progressive Faction raised hell and stormed the stage, chanting ‘DNC, GOP, they both look the same to me!’ Fistfights between the Moderates and Progressives broke out inside and outside the hall. The police swarmed in and made the scenes even more chaotic. Soon the Progressives turned their ire on the police themselves, resulting in a full-blown riot. Ultimately, more than 500 people were arrested that night and in the next few days.

    Marcantonio, however, was able to get out without being arrested. Many, including Patton, demanded to know how he had escaped cuffs, but that was soon an irrelevant question. On July 20th, Marcanotonio delivered the final death-blow to the moribund Democrat Party. He and multiple hard-left members of the Democrat Party had decided to split, refusing to listen to the demands of the DNC to support the Patton candidacy. He created the ‘Progressive Democrat Party’, often shortened to ‘The Progressives’. For the 1948 election, Marcantonio would be the Presidential Candidate, and Glen H. Taylor would be the Vice-Presidential candidate. They stood on a campaign of annulling the Wallace Administration of ‘all fabricated charges’, a treaty of friendship with the USSR, opposition to ‘Colonialism, Zionism and Fascism’, full Civil Rights, a maximum wage, nationalizations of the major industries and surrendering the entirety of America’s nuclear bombs. Harry Truman described it as ‘so stupid it could only be written in crayon’. One thing was for sure though. The Democrats quickly lost what little heartlands they still had left. The Democrat Right had left for the Freedom Party, her Centre had defected to the Republicans and now her Left too was under assault.

    The 1948 Presidential Election could only be described as an event of Gotterdammerung proportions. The Progressives were the only major opposition to Patton, and they had almost nothing to work with. They were loathed by almost everyone in the country, especially in the crazed aftermath of Wallace (who had gone into hiding as senior Republicans pondered whether to go after him or not). The League of Columbus swore to smash any Progressive Parade where they discovered one – the Klan outright stated that members of the Progressive Party ‘would be shot as enemy combatants’. Thurmond outright argued that the Progressives should be banned, which Patton had to be talked out of agreeing with by Dewey. Faced with utter hatred from all quarters, it’s little wonder the results came in as they were. That November, General Patton repeated General Washington’s great feat: he had won every Electoral College point and every state in the election with a globe-shattering 90% of the vote. The Republicans held roughly 70% of the House and 60 seats in the Senate. The Freedom Party won every Senate and House seat in the old Confederacy outside a handful of Republican ones. The Progressives had scored less than the Democrats in the House elections, but it was more than enough to split the vote yet further. The Democrats were broken as a political party, only standing tall in a handful of Northern urban districts, where they fought with the Progressives for scraps. The thought that only four years ago this Party was once seen as the unbeatable leviathan of American politics would shock most people. Nevertheless, the destruction of the Democrats would pave the way for a new America. With the overwhelming endorsement of his people, with more than enough support in Congress to push through his will, George Patton became the most powerful man on Earth.


    We Brave Few: Europe 1945-1949 by Abraham Ferguson

    While the new interest in Kings had certainly been inspired by reactionary backlash against Communism, it was not exclusively for that reason that Monarchy returned to vogue in the Europe of the 1940s. One reason was that it was seen as a great way of ensuring the continued direction of the state. The example from America had shown how suddenly a Republic could radically shift gears. It was felt that a monarchy could serve as a backup to ensure a successor could not suddenly change a country overnight and dramatically upset the geopolitical picture. As the model of bringing back the Monarchy had worked well in establishing order back to Croatia and Hungary, the example soon spread to the neighboring states of Europe.

    In Portugal, the Royals had been banished since the 1910 Revolution, but Salazar was interested in furthering Portugal’s international reputation as the ‘most presentable nation’ (in his own words, with reference to the West) of the Roman Alliance. He believed that if he brought back the Monarchy, it would defang some of the poison attached to Portugal’s reputation by not having the state entirely beholden to a single dictator (though it would remain in practice). It also fit in well with the Traditionalism he wanted to bring to the Portuguese Empire, not to mention his belief that a King would be a unifying symbol to the Portuguese settlers in Africa like the English had for their own. Duarte Nuno was the successor, who had successfully married Princess Maria Francisca, thus uniting warring branches of the Portugese Royalty – this would be an advantageous move. Ultimately, it was decided that the ailing President Carmona would step down in 1949. The National Assembly repealed the laws of exile, and in what was perhaps the most stamp of Salazar’s authority, he put the date of coronation on October 5th, the date of the 1910 revolution. Portugal was now a Constitutional Monarchy, under King Duarte (Edward) II.

    After sixteen years without monarchy or kingdom, in 1947, Spain was made a Kingdom again by General Franco, who claimed to rule Spain as Head of state of the Kingdom of Spain through the Succession Law. However, without a king on the throne as the future Juan Carlos was considered too young, he ruled through a coalition of allied organizations from the Spanish Civil War including, but not limited to, his Falangist allies, the supporters of the Bourbon royal family, and the Carlists until his death.

    In Germany, with the ascension of Martin to the US Presidency, the Western occupiers finally united West Germany under a single, consistent policy. With fear of the Soviets at fever-pitch, the belief was that Germany had to be rebuilt to deal with the threat. To that end, bad feeling from World War I aside, appointing a Kaiser was considered a great way to stop any one dictator from grabbing hold of power for themselves, thus keeping another madman from taking over Germany. Mussolini was fine with this, though the Soviets naturally lambasted it as if Hitler himself had been reappointed. Due to his friendliness to the West, connections in America and generally liberal demeanor, Louis Ferdinand was given the role. On November 3rd 1949, Aachen Cathedral greeted the Coronation of Ferdinand V, thus re-establishing the Hohenzollern Dynasty on the European Continent. This was an extremely controversial move in Britain and France, with the British Labour Party condemning the move outright and multiple WW1 veteran organisations in both countries protesting. Ultimately, Ferdinand's unrelenting commitment to Democracy and friendly relationship with Queen Elizabeth II would convince Western Europe of his good heart. To Germans worldwide, their only true homeland would be the Federal Kingdom of Germany.

    Ironically, Mussolini fought against the trend. Upon the death of Victor Emmanuel III of Italy in December 1947, Italy entered waves of unprecedented mourning, with a gigantic state funeral sending off the King into the next world. At the same time, Mussolini was plotting to undermine Umberto (the son and successor) to get him out of the way and become the sole fountain of power in Italy. He was shocked and outraged when he woke up and discovered that the national newspapers had unanimously voiced their vocal support of Umberto. It turned out that Ciano had done the deed. He told his leader that it was necessary to keep the support of the army, who would be offended by any other decision than keeping the monarchy. Most of the Fascist Counsel agreed with Ciano, though it was felt that Ciano’s connections (through post and familial) would preserve him. They were right, in that Ciano was not publicly humiliated, though many believe the fact that Ciano was not chosen for Mussolini’s successor was due to this one act. Mussolini reluctantly abandoned his plans to abolish the Italian Monarchy, and Umberto II was crowned as King (with Mussolini infamously planning on skipping the ceremony until Balbo convinced him it would damage Italy's reputation).


    ‘Miracle: The History of Israel’ by Joel Hagee

    The first official elections in Israel would be held on January 25th 1949. The results cemented the pattern that had begun in recent years. The once overwhelmingly Socialist Israeli people had become a much more Right wing one. This was due to multiple factors, notably the influx of more affluent Jews from those saved by Mussolini, the feeling that Revisionist Zionism had been vindicated and the sympathy with which the general population held Fascist Italy (and increasingly loathed the USSR). That Italy had guaranteed to more than make up for the imminent loss of trade Israel would receive on top of the military protection, Israelis had no fear for the future. By contrast, the British were perceived as indifferent to the Jewish struggle, owing to their failure to open the gates to Palestine prior to the Holocaust, their imprisonment of Zvi Brenner and relatively low amounts of military aid during the conflict. The Socialists wanted stronger ties to the European democracies, but the Right wanted closer ties to the more ‘reliable’ Roman Alliance. Ultimately, Israelis seemed to prefer the Right’s choice.

    The official results had Begin’s Herut Party on 33% of the vote to Ben-Gurion’s Mapai Party receiving only 20%. Begin went into coalition with multiple Right wing and religious parties, including the Lehi’s newfound ‘Homeland Party’, which commanded 7% of the vote, the General Zionists and the United Religious Front. The new government quickly banned the Communist Maki Party (at the Lehi’s instigation) and ruthlessly pursued the Settlement Program. Enterprise was encouraged (though the Lehi wanted it to be restricted and only in ways that Jews were empowered) while the Sabbath had multiple restrictions placed upon it. Ben-Gurion was horrified that the Lehi now had in power in the Knesset; fortunately, he had provided a back-up. He was able to hand-pick his choice for the first Israeli President, and it was a choice that shocked the world: Albert Einstein.

    Einstein had initially turned down Ben-Gurion’s offer of the Israeli Presidency, feeling himself unsuited to politics. However, Ben-Gurion made Einstein realise that only he had the clout to be able to successfully stare down the Far-Right in Israel and keep them from turning the young state into a Fascist nightmare. With that, Einstein finally and reluctantly agreed. His ascendency silenced many left-wingers in Europe who had begun to turn on Israel as a result of its Right wing government. At the same time, the new climate and political hardship was not favourable to his disposition. As his then aide and later speech-writer Anne Frank would say, “Every day there would be some moment where he would sit in perfect stillness in his chair, eyes lost in thought with only a twinkle of horror to animate them. It was as if they said, ‘why did I ever decide to do this’? I pitied him that I could give no answer.” His meeting with Mussolini in 1949 during the Italian’s World Tour was notoriously icy, with Mussolini declaring that one day Italian scientists would find a way to travel faster than light speed, thus was the magnificence of Italian science. Einstein would joke to Frank, “There are only two things that are infinite: The Universe and that man’s ego, and I’m not sure about the universe.” Einstein’s humanism would have a great effect on Frank as she became a politician herself later in life

    Importantly, Ben-Gurion’s choice proved good to his purpose. Einstein would regularly denounce racism in all circles, both from the Arabs and Soviets against Jews and the Lehi against basically everyone else. The Lehi’s young leader, Yitzhak Shamir, would regularly get involved in public spats with Einstein, which greatly embarrassed Begin. Ultimately, in 1953, Shamir provoked further outrage by following a speech by Einstein and Begin (who weren’t friends but knew how to work together). The two had jointly stated their wish for Polish freedom on the fifth anniversary of the nuclear destruction of Warsaw - the event convincing Einstein with great reluctance to continue the Israeli nuclear program. Shamir had responded by saying that he cared not for Poland, called them Nazi Collaborators (a great irony considering the Lehi’s past), and that “Poles drink Anti-Semitism from their mother’s breasts”. Begin had felt he had endured enough and kicked the Lehi out of the government, the only one they would ever be in. In the subsequent elections, the Socialists would come to power, ensuring a healthy balance of Left and Right in the future decades of Israel.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2019
  12. Whiteshore Defender of Myrcella Baratheon

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2016
    Location:
    Philippines
    A stopped clock is right twice a day.
     
  13. Costarican Boi New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2019
    Location:
    Some place in Tiquicia
    ¿Are we likely to see the Hungarian gold team? Without a Hungarian revolution in good theory, the group of Magyars could continue to shine on the football field.

    Excuse my bad English, it's not my mother tongue
     
  14. thanix01 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2016
    Location:
    Bangkok, Thailand
    If Lehi got their way and join RA I doubt thing will be that well for both party. From what I gather thus far RA will have another croatia all over again.

    Socialist victory in Israel is undesirable for RA, but as long as they don’t deal with USSR things should be fine.

    Though of course I hope that Israel left know that if they decide to bite RA hand they will no longer have protection of their patron. ETO will not likely support them too much in war(unless defensive in nature), say whatever you will about RA but they are probably willing to help out in war (even if Israeli started it).

    Also would president Einstein pursue nuclear program?
     
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  15. Sorairo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2016
    The Socialists aren't dumb; they know they have to work with the RA. The population is overwhelmingly friendly to Italy, and it is electorally impossible to do well on an Anti-Italy ticket. The main difference is just the degree to which the parties lean. Begin would champion the RA friendship while the Socialists would say that it is one among many.

    No one supports the Soviets in Israel. That is no worry.

    I'll add a clarifier about the Israeli nuclear program now.

    I hope President Einstein, a new Kaiser and President Patton are enough to keep everyone interested for the next update when it comes around.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2019
  16. Bookmark1995 Bookmark95 Reborn!

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2016
    Nevertheless, it is still a broken clock. And the ITTL civil rights leadership won't tie their boat to a broken clock.


    Mussolini and Einstein are possibly the oddest of bedfellows one could create.

    I imagine Einstein, rather then feeling appreciative of Mussolini, feels let down that it was a strutting dictator who came to the rescue of the Jews, and not a more civilized leader, like FDR or Churchill.
     
  17. Whiteshore Defender of Myrcella Baratheon

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2016
    Location:
    Philippines
    I agree.
     
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  18. President Earl Warren Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2017
    I’m honestly wondering about the new political Party situation,I doubt the Progessives will be able to get any where politically but I have a hard time imaging that all the new Democratic defectors will intergrate especilly well into the Republican Party.
     
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  19. traveller76 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2006
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    I expect a break between the traditional republicans (pro business/small government), the social conservatives and the former Democrats in the 50s and 60s. Regarding Israel, they may criticize the Alliance but they are not going to break with them since they are surrounded on all sides by states that want to exterminate them.
     
  20. Major Major Tired Old Man

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2005
    Location:
    Where everyone watches for two minutes in May
    "Eh, Vito, leave the gun, take the cannoli!" Roving bands demanding that he have a pasta with tomato sauce and some good healthy olive oil topping . . .
     
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