The Footprint of Mussolini - TL

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

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  1. Adelkman Well-Known Member

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    He already had simpaties for Mussolini and italian fascism, with not a few similarities with peronism; OTL, Peron simply never stated to be a fascist or a caudillo (he despised being called that). Add that Peron wanted to release Argentina from USA orbit.
    Lastly, peronism never was antisemitic. Rather, it helped the newborn Israel, which led to the visit from prime minister Golda Meir in 1951.

    ITTL Italy and OTL Argentina are just a match made in heaven.
     
  2. Alpha-King98760 Aku's most favorite assassin, babe!

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    And chances are Peron is in power in Argentina ITTL.
     
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  3. Bookmark1995 Bookmark95 Reborn!

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    Peron is a very bizarre figure. He both let Nazis into his country, while allowing Jews to serve in his cabinets.
     
  4. Seandineen Member

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    Argentina is the only place besides Israel with kosher McDonald’s. The burgers are broiled rather than fried
     
  5. Drizzt Well-Known Member

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    IMHO opinion that depends on two issues:

    1. How are Anglo-Italian relations? Still as good as they seem to shape up to be or deteriorated?

    2. Are the Argentinians willing to let the Falklands issue go?

    Because neither Mussolini nor any potential non-braindead successor is going to choose Argentinia over Britain when it comes to whom to have good relations with. So for a close Italian-Argentinian relationship, either the Argentinians need make their peace with the Falklands being British or Anglo-Italian relations must already have tanked for unrelated reasons, so that the Italians have nothing to loose by telling the Argentinians what they want to hear.
     
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  6. Alpha-King98760 Aku's most favorite assassin, babe!

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    Maybe Rome can broker an agreement between Buenos Aires and London on the Falklands issue?
     
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  7. traveller76 Member

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    Peron let people in post-war IOTL if they had skills or money.
     
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  8. akoslows Well-Known Member

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    I don’t think the US is going to like Italy making allies on the continent right below them.
     
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  9. Threadmarks: A Powerful Enemy

    Sorairo Well-Known Member

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    Hey all! Just back from a Tony Robbins seminar (I've never been so happy and fulfilled in my life). My April is still jam-packed but I wanted to give you an update so here you are!

    A Powerful Enemy

    We Brave Few: Europe 1945-1949 by Abraham Ferguson

    The fallout from Churchill’s ‘Red Dagger’ speech was immediate. Pravda would immediately condemn the speech as ‘Hitler-esque’ and even Clement Atlee of the Labour Party warned ‘we’re still in a war and the right honorable gentleman seems to be saber-rattling for another’. Mussolini let out an enthusiastic wave of admiration for the speech, calling it ‘a battle-cry for the freedom of Europe and the world’. Charles De Gaulle, worried about Communist unrest in France since he kicked them out of the Coalition government, kept quiet. That didn’t stop a wave of strikes and riots that paralysed France throughout mid 1945, leading it to be called ‘The Red Summer’. Perhaps most importantly, President Wallace outright condemned the speech. Wallace had only grown more thankful of the USSR due to their invasion of China and was outraged that a colonial power felt like it had any right to lecture the Soviets on democracy. Wallace condemned the speech as, ‘hypocritical, divisive and ungrateful’. Owing to Wallace’s current popularity in America, tied with traditional Anti-Colonial sentiments and years of propaganda excusing Stalin for his crimes, a narrow majority of Americans (according to Gallup) felt Wallace’s reaction was appropriate. This would be short-lived. In fact, evidence shows that the reaction changed almost immediately after the Americans announced a halt to the Lend-Lease program on May 3rd 1945. It was incorrectly believed to have been cancelled due to Churchill’s speech, when it had been in the works for a while by then.

    Several days later, a now serially paranoid Stalin launched a response. It would be known as the ‘Eternal Enemy’ speech. In it, he drew upon Russian history and its many battles with Britain. He argued that Russia and Britain were pitted to be eternal enemies and that England ‘was soft on Germany, because they are one race’. The use of race in Stalin’s address would foreshadow imminent atrocities in the Soviet Bloc, but the short-term impact was also electric. The insult was read in British newspapers almost at the same time as Wallace’s condemnation and cutting of Lend-Lease. Many Labour members hoped this would sabotage Churchill at the polls and make him seem like a bad leader. Instead, the precise opposite happened. Churchill was seen as a visionary, Stalin like an eternal rival and Wallace like a conceited fool. It made the foreign policy situation of Britain seem so precarious that people wanted a war-time leader to help deal with the chaos. Further to that, the loss of the Lend-Lease program was a gift to the Tories as the new sense of tight pockets meant that Labour’s spending program now faced extreme scrutiny. The polls suddenly shifted in the Conservatives favour, leading to a dead heat by the time of election night.

    On July 26th 1945, the UK held her first Parliamentary election since V.E. Day. The Tories were the largest individual party at 321 seats. The turnaround is considered one of the most remarkable in the history of British politics. Atlee resigned the leadership of the Labour Party and handed it over to Bevan. When combined with the eight seats of the National Liberals, this gave the Tories an extremely narrow majority, which Churchill hoped to buffer up with the occasional help of some of the smaller parties in the Commons. Among those were the ten seats belonging to the crippled remnant of the Liberal Party - and of course, the four seats of Mosley’s British Union of Fascists.


    “Our Misguided Friends”: Fascism in Democratic Nations by Amy Long

    Following a movement among almost all major political parties in the United Kingdom, Mosley finally decided to set out on an international expedition to find an ideology that he believed would take Britain to the next level. He arrived in Italy around the time of Mussolini’s attempted assassination. He was impressed by the character of Isaac Capri and believed that Fascism had played an important role in creating it. He would create the British Union of Fascists (BUF) in 1932 as a reflection of his belief in the superiority of the Italian system. Mosley’s movement would score prominent supporters in the British establishment, including members of both the Daily Mail and Mirror. However, after a series of incidents involving street rioting and clashes with Communists, support cooled considerably. The BUF seemed to stall in reaction, but it was soon to be hit with another blow.

    In 1936, the party suffered a rupture. By now, the differences between Fascism and its close relative of Nazism were becoming apparent, notable the friendly relationship the former had to Jews and the utter disgust the latter had. The BUF had many of both schools, but Mosley would always sympathize with the Italian school of thought. During one party meeting, held not too long after the Nuremburg Laws (which both Italy and Mosley condemned) on February 19th 1936, Mosley launched a speech against Germany and called upon the nations of Europe to subdue it. In response, William Joyce (who would become infamous as ‘Lord Haw Haw’) took the stage and accused Mosley of being ‘A Jew-worshipping tool’. The insult led to a gigantic fight to break out in the hall between Nazis and Fascists. After that, some twenty percent of the party left with Joyce to form the ‘National Socialist League’, which aligned itself to the teachings of Hitler over Mussolini. The BUF was temporarily crippled. [1]

    The war presented its own challenges. Despite its fight against the Nazis, the BUF was put under intense police scrutiny during the early stages of the War. Many suspected they would support Germany over Britain, especially if Italy declared her allegiance to the Pact. Mosley would give multiple speeches denouncing Nazism but would find it didn’t help relieve police pressure all that much. Mussolini’s opportunistic invasions in the Balkans further damaged their image. This changed upon Italy’s entry into the war. In a flash, the restrictions were lifted. The Fascists were considered a reliable ally in the war against Hitler. The party would quickly find itself back on its feet. Their fortunes multiplied following the stormy collapse in relations with the Soviets in the early stages of 1945. Combined with the newfound respect the Italians had earned, the Fascists suddenly started to become somewhat respected again. This led to their achieving four seats in the 1945 election at roughly seven percent of the vote. Many observers believe this cost Labour the election, as most Fascist voters came from traditionally Labour areas and deprived the party of enough votes to get the Conservatives many seats across the country they would not otherwise have got. Churchill, however, was quite insistent on never entering a coalition with Mosley. He argued for this in spite of his relationship with Mussolini, saying: “There are certain women for whom it’s best to enjoy company with exclusively outside the domestic sphere.” Nevertheless, the Churchill government would occasionally only get a bill passed with the BUF’s help (just as they had many a bill sunk by the same party).


    “We Weren’t All Like Him”: The German Resistance by Peter Kahn

    In contrast to the SS, who were routed out mercilessly by the Allied authorities (as well as West German), Wehrmacht members received considerable leniency. This included those who were considered to be of strong military potential, notably Werner Von Braun, who was quietly settled in Canada with most of the Peenemunde research team and notes. Already the trials of Wehrmacht soldiers in British, French and Italian occupation zones (and to a lesser extent American zones) were resulting in incidents that could safely be described as a mockery of justice. Even though the Wehrmacht itself was disbanded under the occupation (at least temporarily), her military leaders were let off with extreme leniency. This would ultimately allow the country to wield so much military potential in the years to come.

    The Trial of Rommel was perhaps the controversial, if only for its public nature. Many Germans protested Rommel being tried at all, but Rommel gladly went along with it to ‘let the pages of history reverberate with my innocence’. The trial was mainly administered by the British, who not only secretly funded Rommel’s defence funds but pressured the leader of the prosecution to play gentle ‘owing to the sensitive political situation’. It certainly worked, as Rommel was acquitted on all charges on October 13th 1945 to rapturous applause both inside and outside the courtroom. Winston Churchill said, “We are blessed to know that Teutonic might may be used for the good of all mankind. The list of those great Germans – Goethe, Beethoven – they shall soon add Rommel to her pantheon.” Mussolini likewise gave public support to the general, and De Gaulle gave his endorsement, ‘as one general to another’.

    The worrying effect, outside of the message that was being spread around to excuse Wehrmacht crimes (which would be the origin of the ‘Clean Wehrmacht’ myth), was what happened in the Kremlin. With Stalin’s already frayed mind mortified of the growing alliance between the Roman Alliance and democratic Europe, the thought of a militarily rejuvenated Germany was maddening. As a result, he did just that – he went mad.

    The Great Terror by Robert Conquest

    Palmiro Togliatti had become known as a survivor. He had only survived the purge of Italian Communists in the late twenties owing to his being at the Internationale at the time. This allowed him to find asylum in Russia during the thirties and early forties as the head of the Italian Communist Party (CPI.) He was given pride of place in Moscow and was known as ‘The Best’ among his underground supporters in Italy. Stalin assumed that Fascism was simply a latter stage of the Marxist development cycle after Capitalism. For that reason, he believed Mussolini was on his last legs and foresaw the day when he would fall from grace and have Togliatti put in his place.

    Yet a funny thing happened. By 1945, Mussolini was not only still in Italy, he was unassailable. Soviet spies estimated his popularity reached almost 90% after Japan’s surrender. Naturally, the idea of Communism ever arising in Italy by anything other than a full invasion had become utter fantasy. But not only that, Stalin’s paranoia had by now kicked into high gear. Not only did he not see Togliatti as a willing agent anymore, he now saw him as a security threat. After all, why was he the only one outside of Italy at the time of the obliteration of the Communist Party? Stalin’s mind came to a conclusion befitting his new status of a maniac: he decided Togliatti had been Mussolini’s spy all along. Naturally, his minions sycophantically agreed with Stalin’s conclusion and on November 7th 1945, Togliatti was torn from his bed by the NKVD and tortured for three days and nights. He had already confessed his non-existent crimes on the first day.

    On November 30th, Togliatti and his associates (including his cleaner) were placed on public trial for two and a half hours before being sentenced to death. Perhaps most incredibly, Togliatti stood up and began an impassioned, unscripted rant. The most incredible part about it was that it wasn’t condemning Stalin. It was praising him. “Thank you Comrade Stalin! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving me the punishment I deserve! I am so happy you decided to slay all my associates as well!” By the end of the day, all were dead, shot in the head. The guard who killed Togliatti would report that the Italian was crying tears of joy as his execution approached. Regardless of the perverted insanity of the Togliatti Trial, the more immediate effect was the extinction of the underground Communist movement in Italy. Italian secret police recorded that even as the Cold War stepped up, the expected increase in Communist subversion within Italy never came. This was due to the total collapse in morale owing to the indomitable leader of the Communists having met an early grave.


    Patton Vs. Wallace by Israel Denowitz

    Perhaps the most infamous rivalry in American political history began on March 3rd 1945. That was the day the New York Times reported that Patton was publicly condemning the order to pull American forces out of Berlin. ‘I didn’t lead these boys through Hell and back so a bunch of Communists could make camp on their graves’. ` The words shocked America, especially due to Wallace’s popularity at the time and the then prevalent view that regardless of all else, the President was the President and had to be obeyed. While both of these beliefs seem antiquated now, recent Gallup polls proved a slightly larger percentage of Americans sympathized with Wallace. While most agreed with Patton, most also agreed that he went too far in his criticism.

    Wallace read the news and was enraged that ‘that crazy son of a bitch wants to start a Third World War, I know it!’ Eisenhower, despite privately agreeing with Patton, offered to sack the general himself in a call to Wallace. In a heat of passion, Wallace said ‘no’. He said he would order Patton back to the Oval Office itself just to dismiss him. He further said that if Patton did anything to resist this command, he would be court-martialed. Eisenhower attempted to mediate the situation between his friend and Commander and Chief, but to no avail. Even General Douglas MacArthur, though likewise agreeing with Patton, encouraged Patton to stay within the system to try and fight Wallace’s Soviet-phillia from a position of power. Privately, Patton would go as far as to call Wallace ‘A gutless son of a bitch’ and said he would rather “spit on the flag than do what he wants, because only one will hurt that flag forever.” At the same time, he would go to Washington with pride, just to tell Wallace what he thought of him.

    The meeting on March 20th 1945 at the White House between Wallace and Patton has since entered legend, made all the more mysterious because neither ever commented on what the other had said. While the 1970 movie starring George C. Scott certainly played up the scene to the point of physical violence, the best testimony highly implies a serious confrontation. The closest thing we ever got to a full transcript of the clash was from Harry Truman’s testimony in 1949.


    Excerpt from Harry Truman’s Testimony to the Senate Subcommittee on Communist Infiltration in America, August 12th 1949

    Joseph McCarthy: ”Okay, Mister Truman, now tell us the truth. What do you know about what happened between General Patton and Wallace in their White House meeting on March 20th 1945?”

    Harry Truman: (Weakly shrugging) “It had been built up for a while but I didn’t think anything of it. I was just going about my day and then I was outside the door of the Oval Office. I was walking down the hall – I must have missed the first half. I just remember this incredible sound coming from the Office. No one else was there – Wallace had ordered everyone away, including the bodyguards because of course he didn’t want the contents of the meeting to be well known.”

    McCarthy: “I’m sure he didn’t.”

    (Courtroom laughs, Truman laughs nervously)

    McCarthy: “Come on, what did he say?”

    Truman: “I put my ear to the door. I heard the President – er, Wallace – accuse General Patton of wanting American soldiers to die in the hundreds of thousands to soothe his own ego. General Patton replied he only wanted the hundreds of thousands of American soldiers who had already died not to have their graves, uh, defecated on, if you’ll pardon the obvious substitute …”

    (Courtroom erupts in cheers, Truman awkwardly claps along)

    McCarthy: “And then what happened?”

    Truman: “Well, I heard something. It sounded like the general was in the middle of saying something when I heard something and he suddenly stopped. A few seconds later I heard Wallace mutter something in a sound I’d never heard him speak in before. It was a sound of almost demonic intensity. When I heard footsteps coming towards the door I jumped back and saw Patton blasting through the door. He was red, obviously from the shouting …”

    McCarthy: “That wasn’t the only red in that room.”

    (Courtroom erupts in cheers, Truman awkwardly claps along)

    Truman: “Like I said, Patton’s face was red from the shouting but I also noticed that he was a little more red on one cheek. That was when I put one and two together and realised that Wallace had slapped Patton. That didn’t seem to faze him. Patton went out of the door, faced Wallace and said, “I don’t care that you slapped me in the face. But I swear by Almighty God I will make you pay for slapping the faces of the men who died for this country.”

    (Courtroom erupts in cheers, Truman awkwardly claps along)

    [1] As a consequence, the Battle of Cable Street never happens
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2019
  10. Bbone91 I have no powers but I can skip reasonably well.

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    Poor Harry... given how he reacted during this interview, he clearly seems on edge.
     
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  11. akoslows Well-Known Member

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    Oh dear, considering Wallace’s current performance as President, it looks like McCarthy will have some more time in the limelight.
     
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  12. LordofWhy Well-Known Member

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    That sort of behavior in a Congressional committee is hardly encouraging.
     
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  13. Bookmark1995 Bookmark95 Reborn!

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    Damn you, Wallace. You not only sunk your own reputation, you sunk Labor's victory. Now we may never see NHS ever.

    I know Stalin was a lunatic, but any Russian leader would be appalled to see the men who ravaged his country walking away from the noose.


    Once again, Stalin has proven to be his own worst enemy. Discrediting the very ideology with his acts of mad paranoia.

    I wonder what Enrico Berlinguer is doing right now?


    Oh man. McCarthy might be seen ITTL as a hero.

    I can't honestly blame Patton for being pissed, nor those people in the audience from applauding. Wallace helped liberate America from one nasty dictator, only to damn so many people to another.
     
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  14. Darth_Kiryan The Númenorean Sith

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    Damn, have to feel sorry for Truman here....poor bugger.

    Wonder if Wallace gets impeached or censured


    I know McCarthy is quite the asshole, but should not Truman actually be referred to as Mr Vice President? Yes, he is not longer the VP, but I thought that even as a former VP he would still be referred to as such. Or is that more a modern formality?
     
  15. Bookmark1995 Bookmark95 Reborn!

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    It could be that Truman is irrevocably tarred with Wallace and his stupid policies, and thus has become an easy target in what could be a hyper-McCarthyist atmosphere.

    Thus, McCarthy can get away with arrogance, because much of America sees him less as a paranoid, and more as a visionary.
     
  16. Bbone91 I have no powers but I can skip reasonably well.

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    Or it could be that Truman was ousted by Wallace before he became Veep.
     
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  17. Darth_Kiryan The Númenorean Sith

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    ....Truman is Wallace's VP, pretty sure the author @Sorairo io made that clear unless he changed it.
     
  18. Icedaemon Well-Known Member

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    With stalin's paranoia taken to extremes, I believe there will be a lot of blood and suffering in and around the soviet borders. This will cut down on the duration of the soviet empire, but will there even be serious populations of the minority groups left?
     
  19. PatrickMtz Well-Known Member

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    Wallace is a Soviet agent, no doubt. And I hope Patton beats him to the point of loosing one or two teeth.

    Can't wait to see what happens in Poland.
     
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  20. Bbone91 I have no powers but I can skip reasonably well.

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    Right, I stand corrected then.
     
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