Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Sorairo, Feb 20, 2019.
Which might result in ironically higher Nuclear proliferation all around.
I would add also the Italian economy change with the Libyan oil and ENI, also consider that if Balbo was kept as governor of Libya, the local population would have gifted with full citizenship as he wished, thus making the "colony" a permanent territory
I should say about the ENI a chapter will come soon, well is under review right now.
there should be the BIG like button only for this kind of replies( quick and satisfying)
Normally I shouldn't reveal this kind of spoilers, but after reading the last posts, I felt compelled to say something so other contributors won't have to work for nothing.
well it's a good thing,Sorairo won't receive the same request several times.
Anyway i'm curious about Benny's life expectancy since in TTL he's already 65 yrs old and who will succeed him, maybe Balbo(which i hope)?
Didn’t previous update say Mussolini have a falling out with Balbo which result in him not being the successor.
That was Count Ciano
Sorry I must have remember it wrong.
Well yes, but actually no * pirate accent*
Mussolini may want to avoid having him as successor but the Italian government under Benny was modeled in a kind of oligarchy mono party that had the power to confirm or change the dictator( this is how he lost his position in OTL when the Americans landed in Sicily) so if he dies they can choose freely the new leader. said that if i'm not wrong the 3 best candidates competing to be musso's heir are:
Ciano, he even married Mussolini's daughter, was a pro-German
Graziani, the general with a passion for slaughter
Balbo popular among people of both peninsula and colonies and appreciated even among nobility for his great parties and by far even among all the aviation and at least a good third of the military
Well, not exactly right. Graziani was really SS-tier genocidal (OTL Libya reconquest, Ethiopia and Italy itself during the civil war), but Ciano was clearly anti-german. He left his diaries with quite some comtemptous judgements over the germans.
Here are some examples: "[Hitler] A pure madman, inflamed every now and then by his fixed ideas", "That fat ox of Goering, who grabs cash and decorations" and sentencing that "the German's decision to fight is implacable. Even if they were given more than they ask they would attack just the same, because they are possessed by the demon of destruction". Ciano's problem was that he wanted to imitate Mussolini, but he was not up to it. Being clever but superficial, weak-willed and fatuos, the results were comical or grotesque.
Balbo was popular, no questions asked. Mussolini was jealous of him, but even Ciano could not but admire Balbo. His problem (and I think this is not repeated enough) was that other than his interests of the moment, he dealed with other challenges with amateurism. Example: the "Crociere" of the Mediterrean and the Atlantic were the most perfected of the times, but everything else was quite improvised (research and production of engines and aircrafts, industrial politics).
If not Balbo, I could see only Ciano, but he would make a weak leader, easily swayed by the political currents. Maybe Balbo could sustain (and influence) Ciano, but surely Ciano will headbutt with Dino Grandi. The éminence grise of italian foreign relations, Grandi was the apple of the eyes for the english diplomats (relatively speaking). Among the fascist, he knew all the costums and habits of international diplomacy and tried to keep said relations the more cordially possible, with the West. Ciano also posed himself as a great diplomat (admittedly, Albania annexion was his masterstroke) and he described Grandi as "grey, turbid, treacherous".
Mussolini's succession will probably trigger some faction-war. Not heated as the american one and certainly not like the soviets'. Italians do not stomach well those kind of acts. At the first signs of big unrest, splinter factions and agitators sprouts like mushrooms... Just thought about something: maybe this unrest could be used by the king to tone down fascism prerogatives and privileges by a bit, before the PNF compact itself. Not a change of powers, but more like a rebalancing of roles.
P.S.: orthograpy and grammar check will follow later.
You know Roman politics were full of Triumvirates and coalitions until someone decided they alone could rule. So what about a caretaker government after Mussolini passes away?
Roman politics are not the same as Italian politics.
Judging by Renaissance Italy passing through a republic and then back to a dictatorship before finally settling on a monarchy is far from impossible.
tensions yes, war certainly no. When Mussolini dies there will be 2( and a half with grandi) contenders for power, Balbo& Ciano( if you agree to exclude Graziani), and i'm pretty sure the king will use his authority to choose the one favorite from him but, it depends on who is king: if vittorio 3 he will side with Balbo, while if the king died and umberto took the throne then he will side with Ciano( the two were very confident and respected eachother).
If Mussolini lives over 1955 TTL Graziani won't be an issue at all.
Hey all, thus ends the Wallace plotline. I can assure you of more twists and turns to come in American politics, of course. As I'm always somewhat paranoid and want to know if I'm doing something right or wrong, if you feel my writing is slipping in quality, please tell me. Without further ado:
The Trial Of The Century
‘The War of Dragons: China 1948-1953’ by Wu Long
UN forces may have been stretched during their first major confrontations with the Communist Chinese, but so were the Communist Chinese. Mao’s troops had totally consolidated power within the north, but their blitzkrieg in the south had left them without strong concentration of men. Fortunately for them, the KMT were so shattered from initial assaults that it was like a red-hot knife through butter. The UN forces, of course, were different. By now, Chiang and most of the KMT’s hierarchy (including prized possessions like Qing Dynasty treasures) had been successfully sent away to Hainan and Taiwan. In conjunction with Eisenhower and Rommel (whose success in Israel had raised profile to such an extent that Patton successfully nominated him for involvement in the campaign), the three planned to fight against the Communist onslaught. They knew what the target would be: Canton.
Canton was the biggest city left in China not painted red on a map. It was also a port city, which made it highly valuable for the United Nations to allow men in to the country. Men began pouring in by late Summer, conspicuous in their foreign appearance. Many of the Americans had imagined China as a wonderfully exotic country and had no idea of the realities of the location. Relations between Americans and Chinese civilians were decent, albeit not affectionate. American propaganda did its best to prop up Chiang as the Chinese George Washington, but it didn’t hold water to most of the populous, who generally preferred Mao. The KMT did little to help as well, with the combination of a total breakdown in the ROC and a sudden tidal wave of foreign supplies resulting in corruption that made the black markets of World War Two Britain look like a night with the choir. Tanks could be sold in open markets due to top-level material not reaching the front. Patton was mostly indifferent to this, believing that American troops alone were more than enough to do the job.
This theory would first be tested in September, when the first forces of the Communist Chinese arrived. There were two major attacks: one in the city itself and one to try and take Haizhu Bridge, which would allow the Communists to cut off Canton from the rest of the ROC and bypass it. In the former, street-battles raged through the ancient city of two and a half million people, while in the south, the American Air Force began to bombard General Lin Biao’s forces as they crawled ever southward towards their goal. It was also the first time the American army (even under UN aucpices) fought a major battle without segregation. Perhaps the most notable of this was Jackie Robinson, who would become infamous some years later in one of the most important events of the 1950s. Robinson had been considered for becoming the first black player to cross the colour barrier in American baseball, but the racial tensions that defined the Wallace Era forced the Brooklyn Dodgers to dump the idea “for the safety and wellbeing of the fans”. Frustrated, he had returned to the army. It was there that he would find his initial fame. At the Battle of Canton, Robinson and his battalion had been cut off behind enemy lines in the city. Trapped and desperate, Robinson managed to successfully lead the group (which included civilians) through the sewers and back to the safety of the American lines without further loss of life. This was despite being badly wounded himself – so much so that he collapsed the moment the company was discovered by an Italian regiment. It was for this service that he received the Medal of Honor, the first time the medal was awarded for service during the Chinese War, straight from the hands of President Patton on December 2nd 1949. It would be the first of nearly 400 such medals for the war, almost as much as World War Two.
Ultimately, the might of the US Air Force proved too much for such open field operations by Biao. After repeated attempts to reach the Pearl River, a counterattack led by Rommel succeeded in repulsing the attack. With that, despite half of the city by now having fallen into Mao’s hands, the retreat was sounded. The American media rejoiced, proclaiming it the first in an inevitable wave of victories that would surely send Americans to Peking, perhaps even Moscow itself. Unfortunately what they didn’t know (or indeed what Eisenhower didn’t know) was that Mao had already prepared to fight a new type of war. It would become known as the ‘Water Strategy’ based on how water would fill any object it was poured into. The idea was that no matter where the US sent their troops, they would be confronted. While the main campaign of millions of men and tanks would continue, Mao ordered the formation of a guerilla group to keep the Americans held in South China. They would become known as the Red Guards, and would soon gain a reputation almost as infamous as the PLA.
‘The Dark Decade: America in the 40s’ by Wendy Walters
There were some people in the Republican establishment who wanted to leave Wallace alone and focus exclusively on the proven members of the Ware Group – President Patton was not one of those people. Perhaps incensed by personal reasons, he had looked at Wallace’s actions as exceeding Benedict Arnold’s in treachery. The very notion of letting Wallace off with what he was accused of doing, namely handing over American nuclear secrets to the Soviet Union which had resulted directly in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, would never have been pushed under the carpet if the common man did it. Patton felt that the same would have to apply even to the highest in the land. Ultimately, despite all of Dewey’s pleading (who had already taken to be the main potential brake on Patton’s behaviour), the former general had made up his mind: Wallace and the Ware Group would go on trial together.
Wallace was pulled from hiding and placed in a secure prison cell on February 15th 1949, which many pointed out was the anniversary of the Warsaw Bombing. Adding to Wallace’s humiliation, he was placed in the same prison as the members of the Ware Group. According to several eyewitnesses, there were violent altercations between Wallace and former members of his administration in the prison courtyard (mostly John Abt, whom few of his fellows attempted to save). Wallace would write his memoirs in prison where he affirmed his innocence of being a Soviet spy and condemned Stalin explicitly and unreservedly. Ultimately, when the Trial started on June 5th, his strategy was to apologise for his follies, state that he was wrong and that Stalin was an evil tyrant. The remainder of the Ware Group swore off all wrong-doing and, under Soviet instruction, maintained their innocence to the end to unsettle global confidence in American democracy. The same American prosecutor at Nuremburg, Robert H. Jackson, was appointed the chief prosecutor of Wallace (a role he eagerly accepted following claims that his appointment by FDR had made him suspect). The move succeeded in turning the trial into a slugging match. Jacksons’s showdown with Hiss would prove particularly confrontational, with both ending up screaming at each other over the slams of the judge’s gavel. The media were quick to call it the ‘Trial of the Century’, only a few years after Nuremburg.
Ultimately, the conclusion was somewhat inevitable. By now, not only had Ethel Rosenberg and Whittaker’s testimony come down the line, but the words of dozens of other spies and collaborators identifying the Ware Group and confirming their sending nuclear secrets to the Soviets. One thing could not be confirmed, however: There was no one outright saying that Wallace was a Soviet agent, something the press had begun to note. The notion that Wallace had simply been duped the whole time began to gain credence from what was mostly believed beforehand, that Wallace had been an outright agent. John Abt, who had grown bitter in his isolation within the group, decided to put a stake through the whole concept. Abt, knowing he had no chance of escaping conviction, decided to take out his vengeance on the rest of the group. He suddenly announced in October, as the Trial was calming down, that he had flipped. He handed over real information about the Soviet spy program, but he added countless falsehoods that condemned his fellow prisoners. For example, he had invented conversations with Wallace where both discussed how the NKVD had recruited them. The authorities, pressured by the Patton White House to find evidence that Wallace was a spy, took the information to heart and barely checked it. The news was broadcast nationwide and soon worldwide that it had been ‘confirmed’ that Wallace was a Soviet agent. Wallace would sink further into Depression. The last words written in his memoirs were, “If I had tried with all my might to fight for the things I hated against the things I truly believed in, I could not have succeeded more perfectly than I have here and now.”
In the end, it was no surprise what happened. Wallace, Hiss, Abt, Kramer and Dexter-White were all found guilty of conspiracy to commit espionage. It was at this point that the extremely difficult part began – sentencing. Ultimately, for their involvement in transferring nuclear secrets that resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands, the four main members of the Ware Group faced prompt and utter destruction. All four were to be sentenced to death. However, it was the case of Wallace that excited the most passion. Patton was adamantly in favour of Wallace receiving the same penalty as anyone else in the same position while almost everyone else in the Republican Party recognised how dangerous it was to execute a former President. Extreme pressure fell upon the judges to make a decision that would keep all parties satisfied. Ultimately, they got it better than some had feared. The decision of the judges was that Wallace would be sentenced to life imprisonment, while arrangements would be made that he would be sentenced to the most notorious prison of all, Alcatraz. To add insult to injury, it was arranged that Wallace would take the same cell as notorious bootlegger Al Capone to associate his name with criminality. Patton laughed when he heard the plan, saying, “Jeez, I like that more than killing him!” According to Gallup, just 20% of the population found the sentence too harsh, 34% about right and about 40% stated they would have preferred the death penalty. It is often forgotten how radicalized the American public became in the aftermath of the Wallace case, but the polls provide the clear-cut reminder.
However, that sentence never came about. On December 18th 1949, as Wallace was being transferred for final arrangements in his prison sentence, he was shot at close range by a mentally disturbed soldier by the name of George Lincoln Rockwell. Rockwell had been among the first to volunteer for the war in China, but had quickly been sent home due to being wounded in the Battle of Canton. Depressed that he had been sent home so quickly, as well as mentally breaking in combat, he came to the idea that his woes were all Wallace’s fault. Subsequent discoveries in his diary suggested that he was supportive to Fascism, even flirting with outright Nazism. Ultimately, whatever force compelled him, he managed to work his way through the crowd and unloaded three shots in Wallace’s chest before he could be restrained. He was subsequently arrested and placed in an insane asylum where he died in 1989. Rockwell was difficult for America to process, as his insanity and cruelty helped many people sober up from the more intense moments of the Red Panic in 1949 to the slow cooling of the popular imagination in the 1950s (though Communism would remain as unpopular as ever). Of course, Wallace and Rockwell’s case has led to many conspiracy theories on the subject, with theories ranging from second gunmen to Rockwell having superiors (everyone from a vengeful Patton to a vengeful Stalin) and even theories that Wallace’s death was faked altogether. No strong evidence for these ideas has been found.
Wallace was joined in his fate by the Ware Group on December 28th 1949, with Hiss, Abt, Kramer and Dexter-White all meeting the electric chair for their aiding the Nuclear Espionage Scandal. Rumours persist that the sponge (which is usually wetted to reduce the pain to the victim by aiding electric conduction) was dry during the executions, but there was no final confirmation on this. All four bodies were cremated and scattered in Chesapeake Bay. Wallace’s body too, after some debate, was also cremated and scattered in Chesapeake Bay. Wallace still divides America today. Though evidence has since emerged that he was not a Soviet agent, the most recent poll on the subject had roughly a third affirming that he was with another half saying that he was only criminally naïve. To this day, historians generally consider James Buchanan worse than Wallace, though Wallace remains the least popular President in popular opinion polls (which is somewhat impressive given some of the presidents who followed him). Thus ended the dark decade of the 1940s, a time of War, division and the most chaos that had befallen America since the Civil War. This wasn’t to say that the 1950s would be a happy one in American history, but it would be one without the relentless race to destruction that characterized the nation in the 40s.
‘Patton: The Man’ by George Wallaby
Though most of the focus of the Chinese War is placed on the fighting in the namesake country, the fighting in Indo-China was just as important. In Vietnam, a conflict raged between French Colonial authorities and the Communist/Nationalist Independence Group of the Viet Minh, led by Ho Chi Minh. Minh was an extremely popular figure in Vietnam and commanded a broad array of support. That said, he found few friends in France, and De Gaulle swore he would not allow Vietnam to slip out of his grasp, and certainly not to a Communist. The late forties had been particularly challenging to De Gaulle, with troops needed in France to calm the waves of strikes and terrorism that had defined the political exile of the Communist Party. The only advantage was that French troops were well positioned in Vietnam, having taken back the country from the Japanese almost simultaneously with the Viet Minh. They faced serious difficulties from, of all parties, the US. The OSS (under orders of the Wallace administration) had provided training to the Viet Minh, even after World War Two. Thankfully for De Gaulle, the new American President had no such ideas. In fact, Patton did something that pleasantly surprised him. Patton promised to send troops to Vietnam to back up the French. This represented a stark change in the traditional Anti-Colonial outlook Americans usually had, but the madness of the last half-decade had erased that tendency in the American public. They wanted dead Communists – period. If it meant squashing a few third world uprisings, that’s what they would do.
The first American troops landed in Hanoi that October in 1949, with the UN as a whole refusing to fight for French colonialism. Though American newsreels showed a cheery picture of local relationships, unlike in China, the mood was outright hostile. No one liked the French (apart from the educated Catholics), and no one liked anyone who fought for the French. One American soldier remembered to his surprise how, “They treated us better in Tokyo than they do here in Hanoi”. Nevertheless, they had one advantage: nothing was getting in to Vietnam that the Allies hadn’t approved of. The seas were totally dominated by the American and European navies, with the Chinese border guarded to within an inch of its life. Ho Chi Minh and General Giap soon found themselves starved of weaponry before the battle had even begun. Though they had popular support that meant nothing in the grand scheme of things. The French did most of the fighting, with American troops doing more administrative work to keep the American population at home more comfortable with events. The French scored a series of open-field victories but the Viet Minh always seemed to survive in some form or another. In May 1950, De Gaulle asked Patton to deploy the might of the Air Force against the Viet Minh. The Virginian agreed, commencing Operation Charcoal under General Curtis LeMay, the bombing of Vietnam.
It was an utterly ruthless, unrestrained bombing campaign of the Indo-China jungle, but it was effective. Ho Chi Minh himself would be killed in one of the strikes, which brought the spirit of the Viet Minh to a new low. On July 10th, General Giap launched a failed attack at Dien Bien Phu, which resulted in almost thirty percent of the entire Viet Minh getting killed in the space of two weeks. Of course, with those losses, it was simply not sustainable. By the end of 1950, De Gaulle declared that Vietnam had been tamed. Of course, a new political settlement had to be constructed, but he had indeed succeeded in obliterating Communism out of Indo-China. Patton likewise praised the achievement. Yet despite the two general’s praise of the victory, and indeed a victory it was, the two did not realise the extent of the force they were building up throughout the Third World.
Well that was quite the update! The Chinese War begins, Wallace and the Ware Group are tried, Wallace gets assassinated by George Lincoln Rockwell (don’t how to feel about that honestly), and French colonialism in Indochina is secure (not happy about that).
I feel as though we haven’t seen the last of stuff happening in Indochina....
Considering the unpopularity of the Kuomintang and the sheer size of China, would fighting on the mainland be like Vietnam *1000?
As harsh as Wallace's end was, giving up nuclear codes to Joe Stalin IS a stupidly naïve thing to do.
So wait, Patton is WINNING in Vietnam? Apparently, however, the consequences may outlast any benefits a non-communist Vietnam could provide to the US.
This is literally the only time I felt sorry for him,sure Wallace in this story may as well of swallowed a bucket of lead paint but he didn't deserve that end... China will not be a pleasant war at all. I predict an eventual stalemate with the KMT waging a counter insurgency campaign which goes on years after the official peace
Hum, I predict Mao will eventually start losing popular support when he start trying to implement one of his « bright » idea *cough* great leap forward *cough*
On the other side, KMT may start getting more popular when UN and co beat the corruption out of them for the sake of the war effort.
Interesting overall, I am looking forward to how this develop.
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