The Footprint of Mussolini - TL

Not really possible without the use of NBC weapons (and maybe not even then). If 95% of the current PRC population was killed, it would still have a population more than twice that of Poland.
Given the precedence already set in the timeline (WWII seeing chemical weapon usage again, Soviet polish war seeing casual use of nuclear weapon), that might just happen one way or another.
When will MAD kick in? How far are various super power research into ICBM and Hydrogen bomb technology development?

I know Italy and ITO just ignite their first nuke not long ago but do they already have ICBM development in mind or has that not come up yet?
When will MAD kick in? How far are various super power research into ICBM and Hydrogen bomb technology development?

I know Italy and ITO just ignite their first nuke not long ago but do they already have ICBM development in mind or has that not come up yet?

I think might both push to develop rocketry technology and earlier than OTL from the moment European bombers can't reach the core of the USSR - Soviet ones might. From East Germany they might hit London and Paris, from Serbia Rome (and are some days I am progressively feel from here will come the TTL missile crisis).

From another side, Europe might be more competitive on space race. Just TTL ASI would be a real space program (with a launch base in Somalia or maybe Kenya or Tanzania - more the latter because I feel Italian-Tanzanian relations will grow much TTL if a certain guy will appear to wreck chaos in East Africa)
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A thought: How many people would have to starve to death in the war for China for TTL to have worse suffering than OTL? It certainly seems that the overall death toll will be higher, although depending on what happens in Africa decolonization might not turn into such a tangle of tragedies as it did OTL, which might conceivably mitigate that.
A thought: How many people would have to starve to death in the war for China for TTL to have worse suffering than OTL? It certainly seems that the overall death toll will be higher, although depending on what happens in Africa decolonization might not turn into such a tangle of tragedies as it did OTL, which might conceivably mitigate that.

The South should go better than the North, because would receive UN and allied assistance. The North depends by the amount of support the USSR would decide to throw - depending on what conditions.
The Satanic Empire
The Satanic Empire

‘The War of Dragons: China 1948-1953’ by Wu Long

As the terrible Chinese War continued its brutal existence as 1951 lingered on, UN forces may have been winning, but they were also hurting. Though they had advanced deep into China, taking Kunming and most of Yunnan province in the Fall of 1950 alongside all of Guangxi, Guangdong, Fujian, Guizhou with the majority of Hunan and Jianxi, the Red Guard networks were as active as ever. The bulk of UN forces made the slow march up the Chinese coast, by now decimated by American aerial and naval supremacy. Brutal battles continued in Zhejiang province for almost all of the remainder of 1950 and early 1951, which was the period when American dead had surpassed the 100,000 mark. The plan was to take Shanghai and Nanking, completely reestablish Chiang’s old government, and then send him off to deal with the devastated remainder of the Communists without getting too close to the Soviets. Mao had given up on winning by traditional attacks of massed armies, seeing that his forces would simply be bombed. He decided that the best plan was to rally the Red Guards and have them attempt to launch a general insurrection in the ROC territories, overwhelming Chiang and the UN’s forces. To add to the potential for success, it was decided to hold the attack on April 4th, the Qingming Festival, where Chinese mourn their ancestors. Knowing that many considered it a holy day in China, it was hoped that an armistice would be assumed by UN forces and then the Communists would rally their forces and overwhelm them before they knew what was going on. The Qingming Offensive was hotly debated in the circles of power in Beijing. If it weren’t for Mao, it would almost certainly have been defeated, as Lin Bao decidedly opposed it. One wonders what may have happened had Lin Bao been listened to.

The preparations were immense, with all the best Soviet weapons sent down to the regions through the jungles in preparation for the great offensive. Once flagging Red Guard moral shot back to old highs, as it seemed that the moment of final victory was about to be reached, regardless of the old setbacks. Terror cells in the major cities as far as Taiwan were put on standby. As expected, the Americans and their fellow UN allies had an unofficial ceasefire on the morning of April 4th 1951, as their Kuomintang allies celebrated the holiday. Then in an almighty screech that morning, from the Laotian border to the fields of Fujian, the Red Guards began the Qingming Offensive, hoping to inspire a general revolt and defeat the Western powers.

Unfortunately for the Communists, almost everything went wrong. They decidedly underestimated how much the ROC had improved their reputation in recent times and how badly the Communists had tarnished their own due to the famines and how the ROC was a relatively safe place from hunger. Beijing had underestimated the strategic mobility of the UN, which allowed them to redeploy at will to threatened areas with vehicles like helicopters. The Communist battle plan was too complex and difficult to coordinate; attacking everywhere instead of concentrating their forces on a few targets allowed their forces to be picked off at will. According to Molotov in his memoirs: "Mao did not correctly evaluate the balance of forces between himself and the Capitalists, did not fully realize that Chiang was more popular than he was, that his capabilities were limited and that he was too proud to get the help he needed.” The Communists’ best victory was their brief taking of Fuzhou back from the UN – which wasn’t anywhere near as effective as they expected because so many ports had been captured north of the city that supplies were coming in easily. In the Second Battle of Fuzhou, fought through until June, some 50,000 Red Guards perished in the city, alongside 15,000 ROC/UN troops and 100,000 civilians. It would be the bloodiest individual battle of the Qingming offensive, but the bloodshed was universal, stretching from Kunming – half burned down by the Italians in their wrath – to Hong Kong, where the Red Guard infrastructure in the city would be reduced to 50 members hiding in terror from the police. By the end of September, all the gains of the Qingming Offensive for the Red Guards had been removed. Seeing the advantage presented to them, Patton and Eisenhower cancelled the march northward until the next year and focussed on smashing the scattered remnants of the Red Guards so they would never rise again.

They certainly succeeded in their goal. The Communist leadership was shocked by what had happened. It was estimated that almost one million Red Guards had participated in the Qingming Offensive. Of those, the ruthless suppression campaigns of the ROC and Italians with American indifference proving especially effective, some 510,000 Red Guards had been killed in action, all for not a millimeter of land. The Chinese countryside, which many Americans had taken to calling “Injun Country” due to the chance of ambush from Communists, was emptied of enemy forces. The Red Guards controlled almost no territory worth description inside the boundaries of Chiang’s domain. Due to the many atrocities the Red Guards inflicted when they made their temporary gains (notably the Fuzhou Massacre where it was estimated that 30,000 ‘counter-revolutionists’ were executed), they were more hated now than they had ever been. Recruitment fell to a dead halt as both the support base and the chance of glory vanished. There were some in Beijing who hoped that the scale of death would force the Americans to back down and consider the whole thing a quagmire. Unfortunately, they underestimated the Americans. Still lit with burning rage from the Wallace fiasco, with the media and citizens more eager than ever to prove their loyalty, news was filtered to near unrecognizable depths by the time it reached stateside. The Qingming Offensive was compared to Operation Ragnarok in WW2 to show that these were the simply the last moves of a dying enemy. The Red Guards would survive in one form or another until the early 1970s, but could barely reach the level of nuisance after the Qingming disaster.

It seemed to work. Gallup showed that 70% of Americans supported the Chinese War and General Patton’s conduct in it in a poll from November 1951. This ensured Patton would gain the Republican nomination, a role he was reluctant to take but he wanted to ensure that at the very least China was brought to a satisfactory close. However, this would be his first election with a somewhat serious opponent, not that his reelection wasn’t essentially guaranteed. Though Patton didn’t know it, he was about to finish one war, only to begin one altogether different.

‘The New Roman Empire’ by David Lassinger

On December 5th 1951, the Macau Conference was convened, involving Chiang, Patton, Mussolini, De Gaulle, Gaitskell, Turkish President Orbay, Brazilian President Vargas, Portuguese President Salazar, Israeli Prime Minister Begin, Eisenhower and Rommel. It was the first and only major meeting of the UN leaders during the Chinese War, but much was done to solidify the mutual strategies between all sides. All parties agreed that no side would sign a separate peace accord with the Communists unless all members of the UN Security Council agreed. Though there was much pressure to do so, no agreement was reached that Unconditional Surrender would be the sole terms open to Mao. Patton and Mussolini lobbied for it, while Gaitskell, De Gaulle and ironically Chiang argued that it would be counterproductive. The reason Chiang was so uncomfortable with the idea of fighting Mao to the death was the reality that all Western powers agreed the slaughter in China, having reached Biblical proportions in surpassing World War 1’s military death toll by a significant amount even before the Qingming Offensive, was proving costlier than thought. It was agreed by Chiang, reluctantly, that the Western powers would assist him up to the Yangtze and provide him with supplies and bombing support from then on, but no men. The plan was to pull out all UN troops by 1953, assuming the war lasted until then. The policy of ‘Sinocization’ was met with much relief by Western mothers and fathers, who were happy that their sons needn’t face death in the jungles of China forever. Chiang would also have to accept that Tibet would be an independent state, something that revolted him as a nationalist, but something he couldn’t refuse as Tibet had sworn to defy Communism and no one in the West was going to give supplies to crush the harmless state.

One of the other major agreements of the conference was that Korea, which had become an important player in the war, could no longer be allowed the free reign it had been given before, as a member of the Stalingrad Pact. With this, Japan joined the war, though only in letting the American air force base itself there and mercilessly bomb the railways and bridges connecting China to Korea. Though Korea would be spared the carpet-bombing that had turned parts of China to ashes, they soon suffered from shortages as nothing could get into the country, especially following strict sanctions that cut Korea off from the world. The more troops Kim Il-Sung sent, the more the bombing increased. The campaign started in February 1952 and was masterminded by Curtis LeMay. LeMay would soon end up halving the amount of contributions Korea could provide the brittle PRC. A similar campaign against Ezo was considered too incendiary and was never implemented. Nevertheless, the pressure on Mao was increasing at the worst possible time.

Despite the positive pictures displayed for the cameras, like at Kiev and Potsdam, there were divisions starting to boil beneath the surface. Gaitskell and DeGaulle had grown suspicious of Mussolini, who was acting more arrogant than ever in the face of Italy’s newfound role as a major player in geopolitics. Despite their common enemies in Mao and Aflaq, Gaitskell and Mussolini had totally opposing views on colonization, with Gaitskell arguing that it was a wicked practice to be stopped as quickly and humanely as possible and Mussolini rebuffing on the basis of the order in Italy’s colonies compared to the slaughter in India. DeGaulle was more likely to agree with Mussolini, but he found the Italian system a threat to France itself. Patton tried to keep the sides on one page, as his policy of eternal deference to the will of the Europeans found issue when the Europeans themselves couldn’t agree. One unlikely friend Mussolini did find, however, was Chiang. The two had a cordial relationship before, but their cooperation during the Chinese War had brought the pair close together, with Chiang opining that ‘If all UN leaders were like you, we’d be in Beijing by now.” Mussolini could only respond by thanking Chiang for ensuring, “Italy’s armies will be well-trained for the final battle against the Red Huns and Saracens.” Of course, Chiang was also grateful for the Roman Alliance being the only major members of the UN not to talk about ‘Democratic Reform’ and other things Chiang felt were not in Chinese nature. One thing Chiang had accomplished, and with relish, was the Anti-Corruption campaign. With most of his old warlord allies killed by the Communists, he had removed much of the competing power structure within the ROC, allowing his newly reclaimed lands to be ruled with an iron fist. Chiang would later joke that the Chinese War was the best Anti-Corruption measure that ever happened to the ROC. With that, the seeds of Asia’s divisions in the second half of the Twentieth Century were well sown.

One thing everyone could agree on was the need to continue the fight. Everyone knew that the war was only going to get bloodier. It was expected that the first troops would reach Shanghai in March, where the real fighting would begin. Of course, at the time, no one could comprehend the sheer level of carnage that would be wrought on the Asian continent in the brief year the war had left. For that reason, it was debated how to drum up support for the war in case civilians at home began to turn against the war – Mussolini would audibly snort as Gaitskell asked the question. Nevertheless, just weeks after the conference, word would come out from the Soviet Union of something so horrible, so monstrous, that all Western leaders knew they would never negotiate with Stalin until their dying breath.

The Death Spiral: Stalin 1941-1953 by Alexi Ivanovitch

As the 1950s dawned, the Soviet Union was in its most rancid state yet. Simultaneously dealing with guerilla campaigns in Poland and North Iran, they were stuck with having to fund the vast majority of Mao’s campaign, lest they have a Pro-West enemy along almost their entire Eastern and Southern border. Yet the country was in a terrible shape, suffering from extreme economic deprivation and the ever-escalating insanity of Stalin’s last and most dreadful purge. When Kaganovich was executed in 1947 for being part of a ‘Zionist spy network’, despite having personally ordered the destruction of multiple synagogues, it should have tipped off most of the world that something more serious than expected was happening against the Jewish communities within the Red Dagger. Yet no one could believe that something so abominable as the total imprisonment of an entire major ethnic group in the heartless depths of Siberia, having whole villages massacred and what any reasonable person could only describe as ‘genocide’. Yet owing to the heightened tension and increasing isolation of the Soviet Union, no one understood just how bad it had actually gotten. That was when something incredible happened.

Władysław Szpilman was a Jewish-Polish conductor, who had already gone through abominable treatment in World War 2, surviving the Holocaust and the Ghetto Uprising. He would participate in the Warsaw Uprising and would be the first person to play on Polish radio as it resumed following liberation (he was also the last person to play before the war began). Yet not even all this suffering could keep him safe from what was to come. He was in Warsaw when the nuclear bomb was dropped, miraculously surviving by being in the basement at the time. When he emerged, he was under the heel yet more Anti-Semitic Tyranny. Initially blacklisted as a ‘Zionist’ he was barred from any public performances. When the news came in that Israeli forces had seized the Temple in Jerusalem, Stalin ordered the Jewish population seized under the belief that Israeli victories would embolden them. Szpilman was put on a train and taken to Vorkuta. On the way, he encountered atrocities he described as equal in evil to the Nazis, of women and children being murdered, public humiliations and even the loyalist Communists finding themselves on the same train to doom. Vorkuta was notorious for the cruelty of her guards, the gigantic ethnic tensions among inmates (Ukrainians, Russians, Jews, Poles and Germans), and its utter desolation and barrenness. At the same time, he learned from fellow inmates about how this wasn’t happening just in Poland, but over the whole Eastern Bloc. It seemed certain that Szpilman had finally met the end of the road, but once more luck stepped in to save him. As it turned out, one of the camp commanders had heard about the inmate’s piano prowess and invited him to play. In lonely Vorkuta, Szpilman’s performances touched the commander’s heart. Overwhelmed by grief about what was happening to Szpilman, the commander – in total violation of every order from the top – gave Szpilman papers for leaving and helped direct him to the British embassy in Moscow (Britain being one of the few major Western powers who had direct diplomatic links to the Kremlin). Time doesn’t record the fate of the commander, but we do know what became of Szpilman. He managed to reach the British embassy in the freezing cold of January 8th 1952. The British staff were baffled by the languages Szpilman was speaking and were astonished to realise it was Polish and Yiddish. Szpilman was let in and offered to give the full story of what had befallen the Jews of the Eastern Bloc. After brief fact-checking, the British realised that Szpilman was telling the truth. [1]

On January 15th, Szpilman landed in Britain and three days later was invited to the House Of Commons to tell the world what he saw. Szpilman’s testimony was more shocking than anyone could have imagined; even the most committed Anti-Communist could not have imagined that a near repeat of the Holocaust had been launched by Stalin. Orde Wingate stormed out of the Commons and broke his hand punching through a wall. Gaitskell would tell the House, “If there was any doubt amongst the members of the house that the Cold War is not a struggle between Right and Left but right and wrong, let it die here today.” Churchill would blast the Soviet Union as a ‘Satanic Empire’, while Oswald Mosley demanded the expulsion of all Soviet diplomats from Britain, which was narrowly defeated after consultation with MI6 showed it would be counterproductive. In Israel, President Einstein and Prime Minister Begin were so enraged that they banned the Communist Party, with the former not only finally reversing his opposition to Israel having Nuclear weapons but going so far as to tell the UN in New York to “point every gun at the monster threatening to consume the world.” Mussolini, the famously Semitophilic leader, reportedly considered a nuclear strike in his fury. Patton, who had personally seen the horrors of Nazi concentration camps, burned with a smaller but more intense flame, ordering that the bombing runs over Mao’s China increase until it would be nothing but ‘rubble on top of rubble’. Naturally, the Eastern slave states condemned Szpilman as a fabricator. Aflaq, the leader of the UAR, called the story a 'laughable fable from the brood of liars', but it was clear that he was the only Non-Communist power to excuse the Soviets as even the Saudis kept quiet. What little support the Communists had in the democratic world had vanished overnight. Yet this didn’t bother Stalin one bit, as he began his final, bloody year.

[1] - Szpilman would move to Israel and lead the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra. His magnum Opus, 'Warsaw: Ode to a City', would become his most famous and celebrated work, which he made after a triumphant return to the old city in the 1970s.
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Well, it looks like anti-Communism is not going to die anytime soon within America. Anybody like Eugene McCarthy who would dare suggest to have any sort of peace with a Communist nation would be run out of office by the public. It also appear that in-universe, there may be a common belief that Communism is literally the same as Nazism, if not worse. While Nazism is obviously worse, the Clean Wehrmacht myth thanks to the German Civil War, Rommel, and Fascists being seen as good authoritarians may push Communism to be seen as worse, something that I can easily see in the eyes of the American public at least. With Stalin literally committing Holocaust 2.0 so soon after nuking Warsaw, coexistence with Communism will not be tolerated and any Communist state after the downfall of the Soviet Union will be met by an American or Italian intervention.

For now it also appears that the Chinese War will end in a Nationalist victory with at the very least him gaining half of China, though I can easily see the actions of the Red Guards could lead to Chiang conquering all of China. I don't see the PRC surviving to the end of the century though in any form. This'll be good for Patton to survive his first term, though I don't know what kind of war he's going to get in so soon with any attack on the Eastern Bloc being war with the USSR, and I can't see that happening since they dissolve in the 70's. Maybe Patton gets involved in the Second Arab War and helps Mussolinni subjugate and divide the Arab world. Or it could not be an actual military conflict and instead be the War for Civil Rights so to speak.

Also I'm predicting that after the fall of the USSR, China and India switch roles with India becoming a US ally while China is a potential member for the Roman Alliance. Honestly Fascist Italy and Chiang's China make for the perfect bedfellows, especially if the ROC of modern day has the same authoritarian streak as our PRC. Hope the next chapter is on the Indo-Pakistani war and whether or not India is going to conquer Pakistan in its entirety.
Great Stalin and Mao. You both discredited Communism with such way that basically all people whom had some sympathy towards the ideology are now watching some other ways like Social democracy or even Syndicalism. Anyone Western anti-Communist couldn't had done better job than you two did.

Good thing that Szpilman managed escape to West.

Fortunately Stalin not live long anymore altough still too long anyway. Anyway, what is Stalin's policy towards Balts and Finns? And is there much of resistance in Baltic Repbulics and Finland? In OTL Balts opposed Soviet occupation 1950's and there was still some activities in 1970's. I could see same happening ITTL and in Finland is probably too much resistanse. And they might get some supplies from Swedes.
Jesus Christ! I never thought I’d see the Soviet Holocaust again!

I’m betting an Italian movie about Szpilman’s experiences in WWII and afterward will be made.
Awwww... crap...

Mussolini would oversee a Nuclear War where his forces WIN, right?

Unfortunately after Warsaw moral restrictions over use of nuclear devices lessened. Stalin unbottled the nuclear genie, and I think Mussolini is thinking "who use the bomb first, will win". But at the same time this could be classified as the highest pitch so far of the TTL cold war. We should see until much the temperature will rise till the boiling point, which wasn't reached yet.

For now, we know a Chiang leading ROC will stand after the war, its extension still unclear. But 1953 looks to be a very ugly year...
Wow- powerful chapter there @Sorairo - seems Communism is a dead ideology.

Hope nothing happens to Marx’s tomb in London as his Communist ideals bears little resemblance to what is happening in USSR and China!
More so Patton kicked out the diplomats after Wallace, the RA thought ‘great idea!’, and many followed. Secretly, the rest of the West is happy they have someone to negotiate with the Soviets.
But what I said regarding British recognition of the PRC in 1950 IOTL is indeed an inspiration for it meta-wise?


Wow- powerful chapter there @Sorairo - seems Communism is a dead ideology.

Hope nothing happens to Marx’s tomb in London as his Communist ideals bears little resemblance to what is happening in USSR and China!
I think Karl Marx's skeleton would be dug out and almost placed on a gibbet by some sort of Mob formed out of the mix of Fascists, Poles, and Jews. :openedeyewink:

Before British Government secured the skeleton, and promise to just put him on display in a museum, titled "Worst Philosopher Ever: Responsible for Majority of Deaths within 20th Century"