The Footprint of Mussolini - TL

I'm well aware of Graziani's crimes against humanity. I'm simply saying Graziani's actions are explained as some kind of twisted loyalty to the state. In many respects, he was as bad as Beria, and it is frustrating how OTL, he served less time in prison then a shoplifter.
A damn shame that those Eritreans didn't successfully assassinate the bastard.
The Pieces
Hey all, forgive me. It had been a while since posting and I wanted to get you the update as soon as I could. That said, here you go.

The Pieces

Extract from ‘Tears of the Pharaoh: The Story of Egypt’s Tragic Twentieth Century’ by Talal Hussein

That evening, after the worst of the radiation had died down, the Greeks and Italians marched (or ‘strolled’ as most observers remembered) and peered into the ruins of what had once been the beating heart of Arabia. Cairo - the bright lights and cosmopolitan delights, the Muslim Mosque and the Christian Church, the old and the new of Arabia formed fresh. Now, it was only a legend – a second Atlantis of the Sands. The voices of millions, young and old, man and woman, were gone, replaced only by the quiet but unending wails of agony of those unlucky enough to have lived. Barely a shot rang out, despite their being countless men and women ready to die there just hours ago. Refugees swamped the Western shores of the Nile, some already dead, almost all dying. The Italians had hollered with triumph when they saw the mushroom clouds flatten their enemy and the Greeks had gawked in astonished horror. Now, both watched with morbid fascination, as charred corpses and their outlines littered the flattened streets. Graziani, in his final operation before his death by heart failure in 1959, would recall his satisfaction that, “I had lived to see how efficiently we could get in killing people”. By the night of September 15th, the Blackshirts sat on the steps of the Pyramids, frolicking like schoolboys on vacation. The picture was sent around the world and fluttered proudly in the newspapers of Rome the following day. What they didn’t see was the unending firestorm just behind the camera that stretched above the heavens and across the plains, in the direction the Blackshirts smiled. Mussolini bragged in the newspaper that the fall of Cairo was proof that modern Italy was the successor state of the Roman Empire. No foreign journalist who saw the abomination of a sight would ever have considered it something to take a morsel of pride in.

Nasser found haven in the town of Minya by his officials after their escape from the nuking of Cairo. It had been discussed to set-up a provisional capital in Luxor, but it was feared that the priceless city’s archeological wonders would vanish in atomic flame. Blinded both literally by atomic flash and figuratively with fury, he cursed the Italians, Jews, Aflaq, and every other player on the world stage who wasn’t him. As Anwar Sadat would recall, “He had lost his eyes and he had lost his mind.” Nasser ordered that all future resistance to Italy would now have to be entirely guerilla in structure, as the nuclear dimension ended the fixed nature of battle. Of course, it was militarily hopeless. Almost the entirety of the Egyptian army had been obliterated in and around Cairo, along with almost all of its remaining economy. The Nile was only running at the charity of the British refusing to block it off (which would end Egyptian society, let alone its war-making effort), and despite that the British were advancing from the Sudan at a disturbing pace. The seaports had been totally blockaded, and Egypt found itself hopelessly disconnected from all its friends and allies. In short, things couldn’t have been more hopeless.

But Nasser soon became buoyant at the most unlikely news. The nuking of Damascus and Baghdad had bizarrely pleased him, and he took immense pleasure at the news that both Aflaq and al-Bitar were considered dead owing to their lack of communication upon attempts to reach them. It was this moment, Sadat said, “When I felt a sting worse than all the hunger, hopelessness and hell that had befallen our beloved Egypt – it was realising that not even the leaders of the Pan-Arabist movement believed in Pan-Arabism. Here was our leader, smiling and gloating about the deaths of our fellow Arabs – why? Because he wanted the crown for himself. The Jews began their miserable two thousand year exile because of the Italians, yet they fought as brothers. Here were we, of the same flesh, the same blood, and we smiled as we saw our brothers die. There could be no unity in this sad land. I knew that Pan-Arabism was the dream of a fool, like myself.” Sadat recalled that it was these moments that would finally force his hand into the turmoil of the UAR’s surviving war effort from the mere background observance he had engaged in before.

Nasser seized the opportunity to take to the airwaves that night, reaching at most 45% of the UAR due to the destruction of phone lines across the region. Making no mention of his own blindness, Nasser said, “It is with heavy heart that I inform you, my fellow Arabs, that our Dear Leader, Michel Aflaq, was martyred in the war against the Zionist foe. He died gloriously in the fires of Baghdad, leading the Arab people to a brighter destiny. Likewise, Salah al-Bitar was martyred in the bombing of Damascus. The Zionists have exploded many nuclear devices over our land, killing millions of innocent men, women and children. If we lose this war against the Zionists, it will mean the end of the Arab world, the Arab culture, the very Arab race. We have seen what the Imperialist-Zionist Coalition will do to preserve their parasitism. But fear not, my fellow Arabs! I am unhurt, I am unbowed and I will lead the Arab people to stand on the shores of Tel-Aviv, red with the blood of the Zionist invaders!” As Nasser was the only surviving, prominent UAR government member with an element of following, it was a barely disguised coup, and was noted as such in British, Italian and Israeli military conversations.

Then, something completely unexpected happened. On September 19th came the news that many had wanted and many wished never to happen, but all agreed was a shock: the voice of Michel Aflaq. The voice that wanted to hear it least was, of course, Nasser – the content even more so. Aflaq had been in a nuclear bunker beneath the Presidential Palace at the time of the explosion, and though badly shaken (with the deaths of hundreds of thousands above him), Aflaq lived. Yet the problem was now this: the bunker was buried under countless tonnes of rubble, the city centre was irradiated and any organised rescue attempts would be at greater risk of revealing where Aflaq was, potentially leading to his being killed. For that reason, Aflaq and other UAR military leaders were trapped in the Baghdad Bunker, as it came to be known. Their equipment had been badly damaged in the initial strike, but in a few days, they had managed to repair it, to the joy of countless radio operators overjoyed to hear their leader return almost from the dead. But Aflaq was not happy … and he wasn’t happy because of one man in particular: General Nasser.

In his return radio address, Aflaq made one thing very clear: Nasser was not in charge of the UAR, he was. “In this hour of darkest crisis, we will not listen to the siren calls of usurpers, be they in the Levant or Egypt. General Nasser, by your having lost your eyesight in the nuclear explosion of Cairo, you have already earned a well-deserved rest far away from the ultimate command of Arab forces.” Nasser was infuriated that Aflaq revealed his secret to millions of people over the radio and demanded to know who leaked the information. Though he would always deny it, most historians believe that Sadat (perhaps in tandem with his close pupil, Yasser Arafat) sent the information off through anonymous sources. Regardless, the idea the Arabs would let a blind man lead them was laughable, and thus ended Nasser’s leadership ambitions overnight. As the Italians marched down the Nile, with the British and Sudanese marching up, Nasser descended into delusion, muttering about how he would get his revenge on Aflaq. All the while, Egypt continued to plunge into flame and chaos from chemical weapons attacks on her few, scattered troops and crowded, anarchic cities. Starvation and disease ravaged what little was left of the untouched rural environment. Egypt was in pieces, but would she be allowed to sink into a lower condition than even that? Finally, Anwar Sadat would be forced to make a decision.

Extract from ‘The Home of the Holy: The Miraculous Story of Lebanon’ by Jerry Robertson

When news hit Beirut that morning of a nuclear explosion at Tripoli, followed by news of the Israeli army breaking through to the Litani, blind panic swept the streets. Everyone was convinced that Israeli occupation was a death sentence, with many praying that the, ironically crueler, Turks would sweep in beforehand. But it was even scarier for those in control of the province. Rashid Kamari, the highest-ranking Ba’athist in the province, urgently messaged Baghdad, Damascus and Cairo for aid. Yet, to their growing horror, both he and his staff realised that no one was responding. Slowly, reports started to come in of the other cities across the region that had been struck with nuclear weapons. Fearing Beirut was next, Kamari and his main subordinates fled the city northward, hoping to escape the Israelis. While Beirut had been spared obliteration, it was now just as leaderless as anywhere else. That morning from his forward base in Rhodes, Gemayel assured the Phalangists that nothing would befall the city, and that the time had come to rise up and take the city immediately. The Phalangists had been brutally suppressed and numbered only about 1000 by the time of Operation Samson. However, the moment they emerged and announced they were seizing Beirut, the city’s population, regardless of religion, fell to their knees and serenaded them. This reached the point of dark-comedy. One fourteen-year-old boy dreamed of being a Philangist but his father had forbidden him from joining, despite his own membership. The boy snuck out in a makeshift uniform that was far too big, armed with a knife he had taken from the kitchen. After being bewildered by the mayhem, he found himself suddenly faced with ten fully armed UAR soldiers. When the soldiers demanded to know whether the boy was with the Phalangists, the boy broke down and begged to be forgiven … only for the soldiers to throw their weapons down and plead that they wanted to surrender – leading to the awkward scenario of the boy marching the soldiers to the Phalangist HQ to ask what to do. The reason the soldiers surrendered, of course, was that if the Phalangists took the city, then they presumed that neither the Israelis nor the atomic bombs would reach them. Thus, the Lebanese looked to the Phalangists as the only friendly face in a world of demons, which would start the myth of Lebanon having been an Anti-Ba’athist state (which it most certainly was not). The main issue the Philangists faced was simply moving from Point A to Point B due to the throngs of traffic and people pledging allegiance. By September 17th, Beirut fell entirely into the hands of the Phalangists, the date still celebrated in Lebanon as its official Independence Day.

The Israelis crossed the Litani on the same day, racing up the coast to secure maritime supplies from the dominant western alliance. This meant reaching Beirut, with the Israelis promising to leave most of the actual occupation of Lebanon north of the Litani to the Phalangists. At the same time, the arrival of the now enraged, battle-hungry Israelis proved terrifying to the whole of Lebanon. The hard hearts of the Israelis were shaken when they saw the terror in the eyes of the Lebanese, who genuinely expected to be hunted and killed to the last. One Israeli soldier recalled a woman standing by the road when she saw an Israeli soldier approach her. She not only froze in horror, she began to tremble, and at her legs a stream of urine began to run. More tragically, some Arabs decided to kill themselves and their families, fearing that life after the UAR under what they presumed would be Israeli rule. One farm with a family of six was searched by IDF troops, who found that the parents had one-by-one drowned each of their children before hanging themselves. Others still grabbed twigs, held them in the shape of the Christian cross, and pleaded through stammering voice, and a flood of tears that they were loyal to the Phalangists. As the days in Lebanon rolled on, the hatred the Israelis felt towards the Arabs began to melt into reluctant pity. As Rabin would recall, “The soldiers were looking for a battle – they found only people begging to live. They almost wanted to children throw stones at them, to look in their eyes and see hatred. Instead, they saw something that broke their heart: fear.”

On September 20th, the IDF marched into Beirut, the only surviving Arab, Middle-Eastern capital with significant cultural heritage. The streets were deserted, as thousands cowered in the cellars and basements, expecting the Israelis to order everyone out into the street to be shot. To the relief of the city, it was agreed that the Phalangists would occupy Beirut, and play a significant role in liberating the rest of the country. Israeli troops were redirected to the east to surround the ruins of Damascus. The Phalangists, their ranks swelling with eager recruits, with overwhelming western air-support were able to pick off and obliterate the remaining Ba’athist forces within Lebanon. The UAR’s surviving forces were demoralized, starving and almost invariably unable to receive orders from their superiors, who had usually died, fled in terror or simply had their communications equipment destroyed in the madness of September 16th. After pleading from the Phalangists that landing an Italian division in Beirut was one of the worst things that could be done in light of what had just happened, a British division from Cyprus was landed instead on September 22nd. The troops were flooded with pleas from the population of ‘Please don’t leave!’ and ‘Long live Queen Elizabeth!’ They were desperate for protection from the Israelis and Italians, whom they didn’t so much hate anymore as unbearably fear. On September 30th, the Phalangists found Karami in a farm in Riyak, handing him over to a nearby IDF squad. Though under orders to capture him, Karami was shot on the spot by the IDF. Rabin was outraged and demanded to know who had gone against orders. As he recalled, “I found myself facing ten men with cold faces and colder hearts, their only higher purpose being to protect their comrades from punishment. They looked at me not with fear or anger … but indifference, like nothing I could do or say would change their tune … and they were right.” By the end of September, the UAR had lost all its presence within Lebanon, setting the stage for a new era for the Mediterranean encampment.

Extract from ‘The War that Ended a World’, by Francis Gautman

While Yemen was spared obliteration during Operation Samson, it wasn’t hard for the rulers of the country to realise that they had no chance of defying the Italians, British, or any other significant Western power. Yemenis of all persuasions feared a destructive invasion that would take away not just Aden, but even feared being incorporated under the harsh jackboot of Mussolini’s New Roman Empire. The Alwaziri consequently moved from being seen as Yemen’s greatest heroes for taking Aden to their greatest villains for having invited such immediate, overwhelming destruction. Of course, the Yahya family still had supporters within the ancient society, despite the purge that happened when the Alwaziri swept to power in 1948. The few communication channels were flood to bursting with desperate negotiations to install the exiled Hassan Bin Yahya onto the throne. Some said they would only side with the Yahya family if Yemen’s gains in Aden were totally recognised – this gained a flat, stinging rebuke that quickly made the Yemeni loyalists grasp their position. Finally, the plotters agreed to move against the King, Imam Abdullah.

On September 22nd, at a royal council in Taiz, discussions were made on how to protect the Yemeni government from potential nuclear attack. One hour after the meeting started, guards royal to the old Yahya regime burst through the door and slaughtered every attendant, with the sole exception of Imam Abdullah. Imam Abdullah was instead captured, bound, taken to the centre of Taiz and stoned to death as an ‘apostate’, in having killed God’s appointed ruler. A similar fate awaited Al-Qardaei, Yahya’s assassin, who was stoned several hours later in the same location, directly beside the old King’s corpse. Throughout the week, the Alwaziri family and Bani Murad tribes were hunted to extinction, thus securing the long term powerbase that would allow Hassan’s rule as King to be so relatively secure. No help from the UAR or Saudi Arabia arrived, as both still had no clearly organised central governments to command the starving, leaderless troops to march. Italian bombing runs from Ethiopia proved the final straw for any hope of resistance against the Yahya family’s re-ascendency to the Yemeni Throne.

However, in an act that astonished the world, especially Britain, Hassan would return to his native land through the port of Aden on September 24th (on an Italian vessel) to rapturous crowds. Hassan went on to say that Yemen would still gain from the war, and stated that he would not abandon his countrymen to the British ever again. This set massive alarm-bells ringing in London, as this seemed to be the Italian position in that the Italians had groomed Hassan for almost a decade at this point. Yet it wasn’t, from the British perspective, anyone’s right to decide what to do with the Aden Protectorate other than Britain herself, especially the Eden government that came to power on the promise of restoring imperial virility. For now, the public condemnations were few, but already in the great abodes of European power, divisions that would shape the following decades of European policy were being formed.

But there was a further, equally damaging offensive being concocted. On September 26th, Turkish as well as Albanian, Libyan, Eritrean, and Somalian troops loyal to the Italian Empire landed just outside of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. The only thing they had in common besides their comradery was that all the soldiers were Muslims. The Saudi Royal Family had been obliterated in the Italian-Israeli nuclear attack, and the next remaining members in the line of succession were so vague and distant from power that none ever expected they would get a shot. They thus had no in-built power-base to leverage and take control of the country. Consequently, even one and a half weeks after the death of King Saud, no one knew where the Arabian government was anymore. Israel had taken advantage of the carnage to capture the whole of the Gulf of Aqaba by September 21st, beginning a race down the coast fuelled by the British and Italian navies. However, all parties knew that ultimately, only Muslims would be accepted as the proper protectors of the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. Consequently, the Italians sent their crack Muslim troops to land on the Saudi shores, quickly overwhelming the scattered, terrified defenders. It had been agreed between Mussolini and Orbay that Turkey would regain her old possession of the Holy Cities of Islam. To that end, a joint task force was assembled (with no input from Britain), which quickly formed a beachhead in the leaderless country. On September 25th, Mecca fell to Turkish forces, the Kaaba once more falling under the rule of the Turks. On October 2nd, Medina would likewise fall. Such incendiary actions, which led to riots in many occupied areas of the Arab world, would lead to increasingly angry telegrams getting sent back and forth between Rome and London, the latter demanding the former become more transparent with its strategies. Of course, this was all part of Mussolini's plan from the outset, and the coup de grace was still to come.

As chaos continued to subsume the Middle East, even more alliances and political intrigue threatened to upturn the state of affairs. Chief among them were the many discussions the Kurds were having, with the North Iranians demanding the Kurds quickly begin their rebellion against the UAR to stop Turkey from devouring all in sight, and the Kurds waiting for the still collapsing UAR to present itself as an even more appealing target. Finally, the Kurds could take it no more, and on October 1st 1956, the Kurdish Uprising began in Erbil, quickly seizing the city from the Ba’athists, who were beginning to surrender in mass due to the chaos and confusion of who was leading the UAR (Aflaq’s radio comments had not reached everyone), and how they were meant to reply. The Kurds were able to quickly establish themselves as too much for the weak, shattered Baathists to deal with – much to the alarm of Turkey. The Turks were in the middle of slamming the UAR army against the Mediterranean coast by chasing them to the Sea. The rise of the Kurds had created a massive potential security threat for the Turkish state, but the troops to deal with it still didn’t exist. To that end, the Turks began to rush the conflict, linking with the Israelis on October 4th, to swing around and crush the Kurds before they were too strong to put down. At the same time however, other people had other plans. The North Iranian army was readying its troops ... as was the South …
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I wonder if there are any Thai soldier participating in the war I know they did not sent large number of troop due to distance. But I wonder if there are any unit Marshall Phibunsongkhram sent over to observe how “modern war” is conduct.

After all I think RA should not have too much problem with their member requesting to observe the war.
I wonder if there are any Thai soldier participating in the war I know they did not sent large number of troop due to distance. But I wonder if there are any unit Marshall Phibunsongkhram sent over to observe how “modern war” is conduct.

After all I think RA should not have too much problem with their member requesting to observe the war.

They have a small force with the Italians in Egypt. Nothing crazy, but participatory.
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England's logic: "I am perfectly ok with Italy invading dozens of countries and commiting horrible war crimes, but i draw the line at the idea of losing one small colony in the Middle East".

Also the idea of Benito Mussolini helping a country against its colonial master is so ironic it hurts.