The Footprint of Mussolini - TL

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

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  1. Threadmarks: "All we've ever done is survive!"

    Sorairo Well-Known Member

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    “All we’ve ever done is survive!”

    The Making of Fascist Bloc by Jodie Rutkins

    No language has words to express the shock that greeted the Fascist Bloc at the news that there were SS divisions pouring over the border into Italy and that they were now in a state of war with not only Germany, but Romania too. On a darker note, it certainly put the many Italian volunteers in Russia off their balance. Some five thousand Italians were serving on the Russian front when the news came through. They were arrested before they ever got news of the invasion and interned in concentration camps. Barely half would survive the war, in perhaps one of the more vivid illustrations of the sudden nature of the latest stage of the war.

    In Bulgaria, Tsar Boris was in surprisingly good spirits by contrast. He would tell his cabinet, “God won’t deny a single want of the Bulgarian nation, it seems.” He was referring to Dobruja, the Romanian territory located along the Black Sea. If he could secure that, he would landlock Romania, and fulfill some of the longest standing desires of Bulgarian nationalism. But he first ordered the Ploesti oil fields to be targeted, which would cripple the Pact’s war effort.

    In Spain, Franco was quite astonished to arise on the morning of December 2nd to find he was in the middle of another war, especially against a former ally. He soon steadied himself and gave a radio address that evening from Madrid declaring that, “Those who would attack the nation of our Church deserve no forgiveness. This Christmas, Lourdes shall breathe in Christian air again.” The speech did a lot to assuage terror in Spain at the prospect of another war. Salazar in Portugal, would go down a similar road, only re-emphasizing the Anglo-Portugese friendship on top of it. Interestingly, a few despondent Communists still resisting Franco would join the Spanish military, just to be part of ‘at least one Anti-Fascist Crusade that was going to win,” one recalled.

    In Croatia, Pavelić was still busy rooting out anything Orthodox or remotely Serbian and was left thunderstruck when the Nazis had dragged him into the War against them, all for a race he had little love for. However, given how close he was to the action, he readied the troops, especially as the first bombs fell on Zagreb on December 3rd. It appeared that he and Croatia were entering another war much sooner than he anticipated.

    Turkey was so distant from the carnage that the news was registered mostly with confusion rather than fear. Most were convinced that the War would be long over before Turkey could send even a division, and ultimately they weren’t far off the truth.

    In Italy, the mood was unique, given that the attack had befallen them and them alone. Mussolini had been stupefied by the news of war and further stupefied when he realised that his army in Slovenia had gone virtually unmolested. Even Lubiana escaped terror bombing. Still, the invading German troops, who were mostly from the SS were easily able to puncture the Italian border against Hungary. Minor assaults were launched across the length of Austria, but these were simply diversionary techniques given how impassable the Alps were.

    Operation Visigoth (named after the German Barbarians who successfully challenged Rome) was the codename for the invasion of Italy. The main assault was launched over the Hungarian border towards Lubiana. The plan from there was to reach Trieste and cut the Fascist Bloc in two. Troops would then be sent into the northern Italian heartlands, where the vast majority of Italian industry was located. Once Italy’s industry was taken, it was assumed Italy would sue for peace, after which the remaining members of the Roman Alliance would likely sue for peace as well – after they had agreed to turn in any Jews they were sheltering. General Walter Model would lead the operation, despite his being a more defensive-suited commander. This was due to Model’s sympathy with Nazi policy, which had never been more fully on display. Behind him was Adolf Eichmann, tasked with ‘treating’ the Jews after the Italians had been beaten back. Hitler told Eichmann in no uncertain terms that Auschwitz was now off the table. The Jews were to be killed whenever he found them, wherever he found them, shot on sight.

    Eichmann made little complaint.

    Four’s Company: The Great Power relations in World War Two, by Steven Benford

    Mussolini knew he was not popular in the West, especially after his opportunistic wars of expansion in Yugoslavia and Greece. Upon news of their latest ally, Roosevelt cut a decidedly mixed reaction. He was at once relieved that there was a new opportunity, but also embarrassed that he had to share the same side as that, “Mediteranean Peacock.” Stalin by contrast was quite concerned, correctly predicting the changes this would push on post-war Europe. He looked at the map: he was a long way from Romania, but Bulgaria was right there. He realised that the Fascist Bloc could set up their puppets right on the border. It filled him with alarm. Soviet propaganda refused to give support to Italy, merely using it to launch into mockery of ‘German insanity’. Churchill, despite his anger over Mussolini’s conquests, was much more relieved, still burned by Roosevelt after being pushed into the Normandy campaign, which he regarded as a mistake. He felt Roosevelt was too soft on Stalin, and was relieved that he would ‘have someone in the foxhole against Stalin at the next conference’, as he told Anthony Eden.

    However, Mussolini’s awkward transition to a champion of Democracy was to be severely eased by events in Slovenia. The Nazis had won the hearts of the Slovenian people, angry at Italy for their attempt to remove their culture. The Italians had changed the name of every city, suppressed teaching of the Slovenian language and forced everyone to adhere to Italian customs over the native ones. The population was lucky not to be considered Sub-human by the Nazis, and so the Slovenians were promised their own state in the event of German victory. This gave a false confidence to German commanders that Italy would crumble in days, which was brutally halted during the battle of Lubiana on December 10th.

    The Germans had incorrectly assumed that the Italian army was as primitive and poor as it was against Yugoslavia, and that decent Nordic equipment and men would overrun them like mincemeat, especially with a hostile population. Instead, a brutal battle was held, lasting ten days. The Luftwaffe found itself in a totally unexpected fight for its life by waves of P.108 and G.55 planes made from the Piaggio and Fiat manufacturing plants, needing sheer numbers it had a hard time sparing. It was expected to fall in a day and lasted a week due to dogged Blackshirt and Italian resistance. Few Jews fought in the battle, and were instead pressed against the Adriatic in Trieste, which was overwhelmed on all sides by refugees. The lack of Jews and the extreme nature of the fighting brought German anger to a boiling point.

    With the help of Slovenian collaborators, members of the Fascist Party, Blackshirts, prominent Italians and a handful of Jews were rounded up into the city centre and executed under Eichmann’s orders. The Slovenian collaborators took the message to mean ‘Italians out!’ An orgy of violence would destroy Lubiana for the rest of the year, with the Italian population ethnically cleansed from the city as the first stage of a ‘pure, Slovenian homeland’.

    The event would devastate sympathy for Slovenian nationalism in the long-term, but even in the short term it did much to endear the Italians to the Western public. However, the generational defining event for both Italy and the Jewish people was still to come.

    Unconquerable: The Story of the Jews of Hungary, by Mel Goldberg

    With the fall of Lubiana, and news of the subsequent slaughter, the Chief Rabbi of Rome Israel Zolli and representatives of the Hungarian Jews arrived in Rome to meet Mussolini on December 22nd. These representatives included Antal Szerb, one of the most respected writers in Hungary, Miklós Vig, a stage legend and Gold medal Olympian János Garay [1]. Mussolini expected pleading to send more troops into the region to help save the Jewish escapees, who were now crowded around Trieste, tired and hungry. He even began the meeting by telling him that extra troops were currently unavailable. He was shocked by the reply: they didn’t want troops, but they wanted guns. The Jewish escapees demanded guns so they could hold Trieste and repulse the Nazis out of Italy. They furthermore requested that the ships currently in the Adriatic, from the battleships down to the fishermen evacuate the Jewish women and children only. Jewish men would stay and fight. They would rather the Littorio ships save their children rather than give support to the fighters. In other words, ‘our own Dunkirk’. This line in particular impressed Mussolini, as he was sure Britain was finished in the war three years ago and was amazed at the ‘Dunkirk Spirit’ that existed during the Battle of Britain.

    Israel Zolli then told Mussolini that that very day, December 22nd, was the beginning of Hanukah, the Jewish holiday commemorating the Jewish fighters who held out against a mighty empire they would ultimately outlive. Mussolini, a man who believed in the power of destiny despite his atheism, saw it as a sign, and agreed to send out the evacuation call while dropping in supplies to the beleaugured city of Trieste, which was overwhelmed with Jewish refugees, and Italian ones too for that matter.

    Day (1990) by Elie Wiesel

    My mother and sister were now drifting away from us. It seemed that all the boats were at that point. All along the shore, the boats were full of children, barely younger than me. Some were gigantic crusiers, some were tiny little fishing boats. The harbor couldn’t have been more full but there was no end to the number of us who stood on the shores. I was barely fifteen but I knew there were twelve year olds who were staying behind as well. My father stood beside me and held me. We could already hear the guns starting to fire in the distance. We knew we were going into that soon, and there was no guarantee either of us were going to make it out alive. If I was being perfectly honest, the same was true of my mother and sister. All along the water’s edge were boys just like me, still kids, knowing this may be the last time that they saw their mother’s before they died.

    One child just to my right couldn’t take it anymore. He must have been thirteen or fourteen, and having had his Bar Mitzvah he had to stay and fight, or there wouldn’t be any of us left. He knelt, weeping as his mother slowly moved into the distance on one of the little fishing boats, she herself broken with grief. Then the boy stood up, and with a voice so loud it seemed to silence the whole city, he screamed, “Next year in Jerusalem!”

    Soon I called out the same thing to my mother and sister. Then my father. Then the man beside me, then the plucky woman who wanted to fight with her brothers, then the old man by the lamppost, then the whole line, the whole street, the whole harbor, the whole city.

    At that point, we knew we’d survive - as a people. But that wasn’t enough for us anymore. All we’ve ever done is survive! It was so routine, it was almost boring. Of course we would pull through, we always had and we always would. But there was one thing more we were going to do now: fight back. The Nazis said we’d cower and shake at their sight. But it wasn’t what the Nazis said about us that matter. The only thing that mattered was what we said about us. If we said we were going to fight them to the death, then by all the strength within us, we would. David was still a boy when he slayed Goliath, and so I would slay those who would have killed my family, my country, my whole world. As the day broke over the horizon, I could feel the presence of God within, telling me that I would enter the Valley of the Shadow of Death, but not to be afraid … for he was with me.

    [1] All of whom perished in the Holocaust
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2019
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  2. Adam Landy Member

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    That was pretty deep :(
     
  3. Alessandro Well-Known Member

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    I'm not ashamed to say that I'm crying!!!
     
  4. Unknown Member

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    Damn, I'm liking this Mussolini more and more; of course, he'll have his flaws, but he'll have a better WWII reputation...

    The Elie Wiesel sequence was very moving...
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2019
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  5. PatrickMtz Well-Known Member

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    Who left this bowl of onions here?!
     
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  6. Sorairo Well-Known Member

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    And if there is any recommendations anyone can give me to improve this TL, please tell me.
     
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  7. ghilonif Well-Known Member

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    This is quite THE FIGHT.
    I feel a little pity for the Slovenians, Mussolini was certainly not kind, and sometimes downright ugly, but to ally with the Nazis... Well, Hitler can't always hold the idiot ball.
     
  8. EddyBoulevard Your friendly suicide bomber (Back from Coventry) Banned

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    Looks like the dude will be seen in a better light TTL
     
  9. OurSacredWar Meri of Ethiopia

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    How much of a better light should be considered ITTL.
     
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  10. Ramontxo Believes San Mames is Heaven Donor

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    San Sebastian Donostia
    He has decidedly shorten the war in Europe. And besides without the med theater the RN and the commonwealth are going to be a lot stronger versus the Japanese. If the Japanese (who face the same dilema of either backing down in China and lose face or go and get the Indonesian oil and rubber in Malaysia etc) decides to go the same path (ASB surely except that it is only a very little more ASB than OTL) it will be obvious what a "luck" has Italian neutrality in the first years of WWII been.
     
  11. hows New Member

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    las vegas
    The timeline is brilliant, any vignettes from the levant or north Africa would be cool.
     
  12. Threadmarks: Hayom Kadosh

    Sorairo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2016
    There'll be one from Libya in the next update. Let's just say Mussolini quite soon shall be thankful for the Jewish influx in more ways than the soothing of his conscience.

    On with the show:

    Hayom Kadosh


    BBC News report, 1980


    “Israeli Prime Minister, Anne Frank, made her first state visit to Italy today. She landed in Venice before arriving in Trieste, the scene of the historic World War Two battle between the forces of Nazi Germany and a force consisting mostly of Jewish refugees escaping the Holocaust. She laid a wreath, alongside King Umberto II of Italy, in memory of those who died during the battle. Frank, who escaped the Holocaust along with her family as a result of Mussolini’s immigration program in 1942, stated that ‘Trieste would live forever, as the city where the state of Israel was truly founded”.


    Address by Joseph Goebbels on German Radio, December 22nd


    “The enemy by now does not even conceal himself! Who was he this whole time? The Hebrew! The usurer, the rootless Capitalist who broke the economy of Germany and the world in 1929! The bloodthirsty Bolshevik who does all that he can to overthrow the Civilisation of Europe! The enemy is there in Trieste, in all its root wickedness! At last, cornered by the soldiers of the Aryan race, they run and cower like rats in the filth of the ruins! No longer can they hide behind their foolish British, or Mongroloid American or negroid Italian or unthinking Slavic footsoldiers to do their bidding! Now they’ll see what fighting and hardship is! The same fighting they forsook in 1918 when they betrayed the German nation! The last time they will have seen a fight like this will be the time of Titus, and the result shall be the same!”

    ‘This Day is Sacred’ by the London Times, December 25th 1943

    While once, the news of Christmas was enough to bring the sound of guns to a halt all across France in the midst of the Great War, no one would dare think such foolish thoughts about the chances of that happening here in Trieste.

    Despite having received no almost no training, with almost no support the Jews of Hungary, in one week, have turned Trieste into a fortress. By some estimates, there are some 500,000 Jews still left inside the city, with the children and many women by now mostly evacuated. Every street has its own patrol setting up plans and traps. They have no uniforms but it’s easy to tell who is Jewish – they’re dressed like they’ve been dragged through the mud but have faces so intensely devoted to their work that they could lose an arm and not notice it until someone pointed it out. I saw boys who were barely half my height set up machine gun turrets in the ruins of this once great city of Trieste. This Renaissance town has been pulverised by indiscriminate bombing – it would be as unthinkable as bombing Dresden. [1]

    The Jewish fighters have also had a galvanizing effect on local Italians. The Italian residents, initially dismayed at the massive numbers of foreign refugees in their city, were impressed by the commitment and attention to detail the Jewish fighters displayed. Italian citizens have by now formed their own groups, with one telling me they were, “sick of the Jews embarrassing us by defending our city better than we were”. Others have been terrified that their city would fall into the hands of the ‘Slovenian barbarians’ after news of the anti-Italian pogroms occurring in the city of Lubiana. Regardless, everyone is united in common cause. Those who do not have guns have knives, and those who do not have knives have everything else imaginable. Ships come into the harbor loaded with guns and leave loaded with children. By now, the Jews have mostly forsaken the evacuation route and insist that the locals take the ships and get out. However, they have so inspired the local residents that few want to leave.

    The fighters do not move in groups or as individuals – they move like a single collective organism. Everyone seems to know where everyone else is at any one time. There is no fear, even when one of their number falls, because the Jews have determined it is far better to die like this, the road to Valhalla, than die a dreary death strung up against a wall and riddled with machine gun fire that surely awaits anyone foolish enough to surrender. I have yet to hear reports of a single accepted surrender on either side. In terms of the ferocity and hatred on display, it outmatches any battle I have ever seen. The Luftwaffe only occasionally attacks now, and the Italian planes have surprised even the locals in their performance. But don’t let that mislead you – this is overwhelmingly a Jewish operation, as the Italian army is mainly ensuring a breakout towards the centre of Italy is rendered impossible. That the fearsome Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler division cannot take this city is likely beyond the comprehension of Nazi ideology. After having so long regarded the Jews as rats, they’ve discovered that they are lions. Every Jew fights not as if their life depends on it, but that their family’s life depends on it.

    I saw one boy, probably about fourteen, leaning against a wall as he reloaded his rifle. I heard him muttering something, as it turned out in Hebrew, the ancient language of the Israelites. When I asked him what he said, he cheerily replied to me, ‘Hayom Kadosh … Hayom kadosh l'Adonai eloheichem.’ ‘It means ‘this day is sacred. This day is sacred says the Lord God’. It’s in the Torah, in Hebrew. It’s talking about the Sabbath. Today is Christmas to you Christians, but to us, it’s Saturday, the Sabbath. ‘Al titabloo v'al tivku’. It means, ‘do not mourn and do not weep’. [2] We can’t really rest,” he laughed, “but we can refuse to weep!”

    And at that moment, I saw one of the most unique expressions I had ever witnessed. It was childish innocence with the wisdom and experience of adults. It was something resolute, monumental and human. It was proof that there were some things that all the bombs in Germany could never crush.

    German retreat from France almost complete, Washington Post December 26th 1943

    Today, Spanish leader General Franco made good on his promise to attend Christmas mass in the Catholic pilgrimage destination of Lourdes. He attended with leading members of the French Resistance and numerous Catholic clergy from the region. This follows the near total collapse of German presence in the occupied nation since the sudden, shock news of Germany’s invasion of Italy. Franco would go on to state that Bordeaux would be liberated by the start of the new year, which would have been unthinkable months ago, given the bitter stalemate that reigned over the battlefields of France. However, given what has happened it may very well be achievable.

    Now, even the American and British forces, still mostly boxed inside northern France have reported unprecedented advances due to German forces being divided yet further to prop up the Italian front. Hopes are arising that perhaps even Paris will fall soon. Prime Minister Churchill has re-iterated his belief that the War in Europe would be over by the end of 1944 and that belief certainly seems more plausible than it was before. It appears that the Germans are consolidating their defence by putting as many troops between the Allies and Berlin as possible. Fearing encirclement, they have abandoned their positions close to the Pyrenees. Isolated reports suggest the same thing may be happening in the French Alps, though this remains unconfirmed.

    Winston Churchill’s Address to the House of Commons, December 28th 1943

    “In all the history of warfare, no people have shown more bravery, more courage and more intensity of human spirit and strength than have the Jewish people right now in Trieste. As the Satanic forces of Nazism attempt to extinguish the light of human civilization, those who are holding the line are the most persecuted, mistreated people in the history of the world. Those Jews do not fight like heroes. Heroes fight like those Jews. And even should they perish under the evil of Hitler, like their heroic ancestors at Masada, they will live on forever in the souls of all who yearn for liberty in this world. We extend our well-wishes to the Jewish and Italian people, to the Italian government and to all those in the fight against the forces of darkness, for the light has never been closer.”

    Unconquerable: The Story of the Jews of Hungary, by Mel Goldberg


    Despite heroic resistance, the Jews were slowly pushed back inside Trieste, but not after making the Germans pay for every bloody step. As Model would report to Hitler, “We have to fight for every brick”. Eichmann was increasingly frustrated that almost no Jews, apart from those who were incapacitated or unconscious were being captured. The Jews were dying on their feet, not at the German’s feet, as had been the plan. The Germans expected the Jews to be fighting for every spot on the evacuation boats by the time they arrived. By now, almost no ships were arriving, and hundreds of thousands of Jewish men (and a fair few women and male children) would rather take a hundred bullets than abandon their community. Jewish neighbors who had spent decades living in tranquility now had their own specific streets to defend. Wily Great War veterans led boys who until just years ago had debated whether Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck was funnier. Jewish aristocrats and Jewish Communists laughed and shared cigarettes together between breaks in the fighting. Habitual shoplifters and the police who frequently arrested them now fought on the side of all that was good and right together. Women who had been scared of a bug just a few years before would grab sniper rifles and fire from behind the rubble, because the love of their children was stronger than any fear they had. Taxi drivers drove ambulances up and down the shattered streets. Prostitutes and Rabbis tended to the wounded together. [3] Never in the history of warfare had there been a situation like it. A whole society, from its rich to its poor, from all political and religious segments, was united as brothers. The simple truth was inescapable: we were Jews, and if we didn’t work together, all the Jews will die.

    One nurse would recall, “I saw a man awake from his morphine. He demanded to know what had happened to him. He’d been hit by a mortar, and had lost his leg. He saw his missing leg, looked at his arms and said, “Thank God. I still have my arms, so I can still fight – what’s the quickest way to the front?” Israelis to this day talk about ‘The Trieste Spirit’ when there are rocket attacks from Mesopotamia, though the threat was far more total back in 1943/1944.

    By January 4th, the Jews had been pushed into a narrow corridor barely ten miles from the sea. If air raids were possible, the Jews would have been in serious trouble. They were exhausted before the fight even started, and were fighting an elite SS division on top of it. These were horrendous circumstances by any stretch of the imagination and the Germans were getting angrier and angrier. Hitler finally snapped and ordered an all out assault on Trieste, casualties be damned – the Jews had to be massacred, no ifs or buts.

    But on the day of final assault, January 6th, something didn’t go according to plan.

    Interview of Italo Balbo for the BBC’s ‘World At War’ (1973)

    Interviewer: “How do you explain the success of your attack on the German forces that January?”

    Balbo: “The German flanks were ludicrously exposed. You could send a brigade and it would probably smash right through. A whole Italian army? They didn’t stand a chance. The flank was so exposed because they kept throwing away men trying to take Trieste. It was ludicrous. Combined with letting the Croatians do what they wanted, it was doubly ludicrous.

    Interviewer: “What do you think would have happened if it wasn’t for the defence of Trieste?”

    Balbo: “The war would have gone on until 1945.”

    The Second World War – Christopher Armlong


    As if they hadn’t learned their lesson from Stalingrad, both the Italian armies in the West under Balbo and the Croatian armies in the east quickly and decisively overwhelmed the German forces (more accurately Slovenian recruits) on the flanks. The reason was the single-minded focus on killing the Jewish population inside Trieste – an act of insanity that would come to define Nazism as an ideology. The Italian airforce proceeded to pulverize the German rear, in conjunction with British and American planes who Mussolini had gladly accepted onto his soil, wanting to get on their good side. The Nazi advance inside Trieste was stopped almost as soon as it began. With a lightning quick action, the SS Adolf Hitler division was trapped inside Trieste, some 30,000 troops.

    Despite this they continued to charge the Jewish holdouts with suicidal conviction. It was as if they thought time was running out, and that they absolutely had to kill the Jews or something terrible would happen. Thankfully, their attacks were repulsed and it made the infiltration of the Italians and Croatians into the city even easier. By January 15th, Trieste was declared secure. By the help of the Jewish population, the city had withstood Nazism. Only 10,000 Germans would surrender, overwhelmingly to the Croatians.

    Some fifty thousand of the Hungarian Jews had died since Horthy’s expulsion order. Some from bombings, shelling, bullets – but none would ever die in a gas chamber. They died as free, proud people, defending their families and nation. More importantly, some three quarters of a million had survived.

    Trieste was not too important a battle in the course of World War Two – the outcome had long since been decided. Its significance would mostly be felt after the War.

    [1] On one happy note, the war will be over before the bombing of Dresden.

    [2] -



    My inspiration for this segment.

    [3] All of which would be shown in the Hollywood Classic ‘Exodus’ (1954) starring Kirk Douglas, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Edward G. Robinson, Peter Lorre, Otto Premiger, Ernest Borgnine, Lauren Bacall and Frank Sinatra. It would be the product of the newfound comradery between Italian and Jewish communities.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2019
  13. RyuDrago Italian? Yes, but also Roman

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    Well, what a shocking turn of events, I am really impressed (favorably of course) by them. There is so much to comment and say, well I hope the bloodbath of Triest won't be vain for Italy... surely won't be for Israel TTL.

    And well, the traditional anti-German distrust in Italy will now develop TTL in other forms, certainly more violent in the Northeast. And probably the German speaking minority in Alto Adige would end even more fragmented and never get speaking rights in Italy TTL.

    While I can understand why the Slovenians revolted, still they would later pay at the best with a diaspora. Well Liubiana already paid and likely more when the Italian will return.

    I don't see much mercy for Hungary and above all for Romania, both being now between Soviet hammer and fascist anvil. Mussolini may commend Horthy somehow, but the Hungarians still messed up and the Italians could pretend some form of compensation, or allow Stalin to grab it pretending Vodjovina to be given to Croatia or in alternative to Serbia (if joining the block). But Romania would face worse likely...

    Also, I can see why Franco is euphoric - he did pratically get full clean slate from the West (and so Mussolini and the other Fascist allied leaders).

    Meanwhile I so love those TTL biographic excerpts, they are fantastic.

    Naturally, for last of course Hitler shot himself in the feet and Germany as well. TTL will pass a more negative image of "Germany VS all of Europe"...
     
  14. Sorairo Well-Known Member

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    Aug 9, 2016
    When it comes to Slovenia, all I'll say is Balbo isn't the only Italian general in the region. The dual nature of Italy will be on full display.

    Hungary and Romania are destined to be the centre of a crisis between the great powers after the war (and indeed before it). Serbia is too broken to be challening anyone at the moment.
     
  15. RyuDrago Italian? Yes, but also Roman

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    I am not surprised about both statements. Certainly if the war in Europe would end in 1944, much would depend from Roosevelt's positions, who was more supportive of certain remarks of Stalin to push Soviet influence in Eastern Europe. Maybe he could even arrive to pretend certain limitations from Italy and her allies in the Northern Balkans (and becoming eventually the second most hated President in Italy after Wilson if would force Mussolini to claim a "second mutilated victory"). The only saving grace is Churchill and Britain would favour the Roman Alliance in anti-Soviet containment. And if post war talks would happen in 1944, Winston has all the time to barter a peace he would feel more favorable.

    France... Is not going to be in a good place. Not that Franco and Mussolini would pretend French metropolitan land, of course. But the country would be half freed by fascist troops and as reward, Italy and Spain could look towards certain overseas territories, if else in terms of economic projection... Albeit could try straight to pretend the flip of the protectorates in such regions. French positions on the table would be weaker than ever. And also Turkey could try some claim...
     
  16. Major Major Tired Old Man

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    What are Giuseppe 'Peppone' Bottazzi and his friendly enemy the parish priest Don Camillo Tarocci doing in Mondo Piccolo, in the valley of the Po?
     
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  17. Adam Landy Member

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    I'm honestly surprised Italy would not have already seized Corsica, that would probably be one of the few French territories allied command would be willing to let Italy take.
     
  18. Major Major Tired Old Man

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    Somewhat more seriously, what is the Haganah doing? And did Orde Wingate get himself into Trieste somehow?
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2019
  19. lukedalton Well-Known Member

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    Guareschi was a strong supporter of the monarchy and very very headstrong, the possibility that he will shut up and try to please the regime it's almost zero in the middle and long term; sure he will support the italian goverment over the communist but i very doubt that this will stop him from not take some shot against the fascist.
    Said that Peppone as the podestà, basically the very human face of the fascism and Don Camillo as his best friend/best enemy can work
     
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  20. lukedalton Well-Known Member

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    Better not be too greedy, France is an allied country and you don't take territory from friends...and there is enough in the east to satisfy Benny at this stage
     
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