The Footprint of Mussolini - TL

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

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  1. thekingsguard Founder of Korsgaardianism

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    One thing a President Patton may be really good on ironically - Civil Rights. While in early life, he was a racist, those attitudes mellowed and died seeing African-American men in action under his command. The 761st Tank Battalion, aka Patton's Panthers, become one of his go-to units by the end of the war, and eventually inspired the name of the Black Panthers.

    He may be more proactive than but Truman and Eisenhaur in ending segregation.
     
  2. Icedaemon Well-Known Member

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    Maybe the German army in this timeline is at least initially designed to only ever be one part of a combined arms force - they are allowed infantry equipment and maybe tanks, but no artillery or air force, which would be provided and manned by allied or fascist units?
     
  3. Dolan Lookin fer Gooby

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    Well, maybe Germany ITTL will end up remind us on General Ta Hun Kwai of CNC Zero Hour fame?

    Tanks tanks tanks tanks tanks tanks but nothing else.
     
  4. Adelkman Well-Known Member

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    No. Carlo d'Este, Patton's biographer, remember that Patton was still a bigot, who could admire the toughness and courage of single soldiers, but did not hold in high regards black peoples. The first and foremost reason for why he asked the deployment of 761st tank battalion and the merging of white and coloured unit is pragmatism. In the first case he needed all the firepower he could muster, in the second case this happened when his units were bled so dry that or he merged them or he would have lost.
    He indirectly helped to promote racial integration in the army, but only because this gave him an advantage in the field. Otherwise, he didn't particulary cared for black people.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019
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  5. traveller76 Member

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    I can see the German army having size and weapons restrictions. More like a national guard than an army.
     
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  6. thekingsguard Founder of Korsgaardianism

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    Kareem Abdul Jabbar's book about the 761st (a must read!) disagrees and includes a lot of accounts of Patton's changing attitudes from the war. And the men of the 761st adored Patton.

    Admittedly, we don't know how much they changed in the end, given he died in 1945, but having seen it happen a few times in my own Army service, nothing obliterates bigotry against your countrymen faster than enemy fire.

    Could be a fun little thing to include ITTL for a likely Patton Presidency - Patton on the campaign trail with one of the Panther's most famous alumni, Jackie Robinson.
     
  7. Adelkman Well-Known Member

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    Wait, didn't Patton have his memories and diaries published in 1947 in the book "War as I Know It"? In a passage he wrote shortly after the war he especially said that war didn't change his view about coloured soldiers, judging them to not think fast enough to fight in a tank.
    We have to acknowledgde that being not-racist in the Fourties-Fifties was a lot less demanding than today. Patton, simply letting fight black soldiers and not treating them like cattle was far more progressive that the majority of the Army, who considered blacks to stupid and useless to fight, while today Patton would be seen as a bigot for firmly using terms such as "race" to distinguish between people. Obviously, him being much more fairer than the rest made him a favourite among black soldiers.
    I don't know about Kareem Abdul-Jabbar book, we don't have it in my country and I'm not fluent enough in anglo to read a book this thick.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019
  8. Seandineen Member

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    Patton spoke repeatedly about the valor and courage of Negro officers in both world wars.
     
  9. RyuDrago Italian? Yes, but also Roman

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    A Selbstverteidigungskraft...
     
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  10. Drizzt Well-Known Member

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    With Europe on it's own Britain and France will be MORE willing to have Germany rearm than OTL. And I deliberatly wrote "have" rather than "let".
    It's going to be simply a matter of wanting Germany to start providing manpower and defense spending to hold the line against the Soviet Empire.
     
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  11. Threadmarks: Pandemonium

    Sorairo Well-Known Member

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    Here comes the pain ...

    Pandemonium


    We Brave Few: Europe 1945-1949 by Abraham Ferguson

    From the Potsdam Conference on, the leaders of Non-Communist Europe knew that if they were able to restore the traditional Anti-Communist spirit of America back to full force and establish it in the White House, the strategic situation would change immensely. At the moment, without Nuclear Weapons, most military leaders in Britain, France and Italy concluded that at best a stalemate would ensue if the Cold War went hot. For that reason, a gigantic intelligence campaign was begun by all three powers within the United States, working to bolster Anti-Communist sentiment wherever they could find it.

    Mussolini was perhaps the most brazen about it, as was to be expected. In September, he began the ‘Million Letter Campaign’, which encouraged all Italians who had family in America to write there and encourage them to support ‘Pro-Italy, Pro-Europe’ positions at the ballot box. New York and New Jersey were soon beset by countless numbers of letters urging Italian-American cooperation. Balbo offered to fly into New York but Wallace refused entry. Mussolini pressured the Vatican to increase the volume of its Anti-Communist statements to help bolster Anti-Communism among Catholic Americans, which it readily did. This led to the Decree Against Communism in October 1945, which stated that membership of Communist organisations would be considered an excommunicable offence (Mussolini had wanted it extended to merely voting for or supporting Communists but this was considered to likely to start backlash). The pews across Catholic Cathedrals across the world (and particularly in America) warned of the imminent danger of Communism and its designs on the Holy See itself. In Poland, the declaration was well-received by the populace, who took to jeering Soviet troops in the streets. The last major thing Mussolini did, although it would still leave a gigantic impact, was opening up Italy to foreign investment from the democracies. In part, this was due to the realisation that self-reliance in the face of Soviet hegemony was nonsensical and secondly it was to make American investors want good ties with Italy to continue doing business He advertised Rome, Milan, Turin and a host of other locations as borderline intact and ready for business with the outside world. Soon everyone from Ford to Coca Cola was interested in being able to do business in a country many Americans considered their motherland.

    Furthermore, under pressure from Britain and France, Mussolini agreed to somewhat slacken the intensity of his dictatorship. While the Left faced equal levels of repression as before (and in many cases worse), Catholic traditionalists, Monarchists and Classical Liberals were allowed some levels of expression that did not exist before. Among the notable dissidents who were given newfound freedom was Alcide De Gasperi, a right-wing politician who had been persecuted since the rise of Fascism. He was finally allowed the freedom to travel Italy after his exile in the Vatican. In the spirit of the new era, Giovannino Guareschi, satirizing life in Italy, published a comic. It revolved around the stormy relationship between Don Camillo, a traditionalist priest absolutely and rigidly tied to the old ways of doing things, and Peppone, the futurist, Fascist mayor of the town who is obsessed with the new and the modern. While they conflict regularly, when it comes to doing what it is right (often involving some way of stamping out Communism) they work together. The comic was extremely light in its criticism of Fascism (indeed not a word of Mussolini, and it was implied he was the happy medium between the characters) but was still a groundbreaking work that helped sell Italy to foreign audiences as a country that was miles apart from the despotic blackness of the Soviet Union. At the same time, the newfound freedom afforded to the Non-Fascist Right did little to shift the political situation. Mussolini and Fascism in general were extremely popular in Italy, as they were seen as having avenged Versailles and put Italy in the pantheon of global kings.

    The British, however, had their own ideas. The files have only recently been released, but the work was astonishing nonetheless. It seems that shortly after the Potsdam Conference, a top-secret intelligence program was launched called Operation Lazarus. It was an astonishingly vast operation designed to support the Anti-Communist elements of American society and injure Pro-Soviet ones. Perhaps even more incredibly, they had a number of high level contacts within multiple sectors of American military intelligence, whether it was the OSS (soon to be CIA), the FBI, even the police forces in the major cities. Agents did everything from seducing socialites into funding Anti-Communist drives, blackmailing other socialites to stop them funding Pro-Communist drives and often finding themselves trying to uproot and uncover Soviet spies working right next door to them. Given that Ian Fleming was a member of this Operation (though his precise role is unknown) it seems likely that many of the James Bond novels he wrote were inspired by his time in America.


    Patton Vs. Wallace by Israel Denowitz

    Nicholas Roerich was a Russian mystic and hypnotist. His spiritual works had earned him multiple Novel Peace Prize nominations, and he even managed to get the United States and most of Latin America to sign the Roerich Pact in 1935, which stated that it was more important to preserve culture than use it for military purpose. In 1934-35, the Department for Agriculture (headed by Wallace) sponsored an expedition led by Roerich to East Asia. The two continued to correspond and Wallace outright supported many of Roerich’s more esoteric ideas. He was even fascinated in the idea of creating a modern Shangri-La somewhere in Asia called ‘The Sacred Union of the East’. Roerich stated that he got this idea from entities from other planets to show them how to create an ideal society. When the plans collapsed, the Roosevelt Administration attempted to pretend nothing had happened. Unfortunately, the letters leaked, becoming known as ‘The Guru Letters’. While Americans had already disagreed with much of his policy and went along with it due to his wartime success, October 23rd 1945 would be the day that Americans truly began to turn on Wallace. With the War over, Republican strategists now felt no patriotic duty to silence with respect to the infamous letters that had fallen into their possession. The New York Times would republish the bizarre and uncomfortable transcripts and Americans gawked in wonder at what the leader of the free world supposedly believed.

    The fallout was immediate and brutal. Synagogues, cathedrals and churches of all denominations let out a torrent of condemnation of ‘the Paganism at the heart of our government’. In the South it was met with particular revulsion, with W.A. Criswell going as far as to call Wallace ‘a Satanist’ owing to his interest in mysticism. Billy Graham declared Wallace had ‘split bread with a man the Old Testament told us to put to death!’ Even many traditionally black churches condemned the revelations. As a result, Wallace’s approval ratings crashed to the mid thirties by the middle of November. That this had already happened in the first year of his term was already a massive indication that Wallace would not win another term.

    On October 28th, Wallace announced a Cabinet re-shuffle owing to the War having come to a conclusion and the need to create a peacetime strategy. In reality, it was due to multiple members of the Cabinet demanding to resign lest they be tied Wallace’s baffling letters. Wallace appreciated their concerns but managed, for the good of the government, to allow a reshuffle to escape instead. Thankfully, they agreed and Wallace was spared an even bigger embarrassment. Of course, an embarrassment even greater than the Guru Letters was only a month away.


    American newsreel report on the arrest of Congressman Samuel Dickstein, November 24th 1945

    “In news that has shocked America, Congressman Samuel Dickstein of the 19th District of New York was today arrested by the FBI under suspicion of having spied for the Soviet Union against the very nation he swore to protect. Investigators have stated that a series of contacts led them to the end of the chain, at which it is said the final link was a man deep in the heart of power. Dickstein is currently being investigated to determine the validity of these charges. Whether it be true or not, one thing’s for sure: if we can’t trust our own Congressmen, who can we trust?”


    The Red and the Dead: How the Wallace Presidency Changed America by Ben Rushmore

    [Samuel] Dickstein was so ravenous and greedy his KGB handlers codenamed him ‘CROOK’. While it was naturally a gigantic score to have an agent in the heart of Congress literally offering himself to spy for the Soviet Union, Dickstein soon proved anything but a useful asset. Whatever materials he provided were of little help and his price-tags were astronomical. Ultimately, he was seen as someone better used for speeches in Congress to further Soviet agendas. For example, he would attack the Dies Committee as ‘Red-baiting’ and turned his back on the House of Un-American Activities (Which he had once played a keen part in against Fascist sympathizers in America). Again, when this was done, the NKVD let him go and was thankful to have seen the last of him.

    However, the story continued. A certain Jewish bureaucrat within the Soviet intelligence services by the name of Vasily Abramovich (not his real name but one used for protection) apparently overheard the talk about Dickstein, joking about his codename. He had considered escaping the Soviet Union due to his revulsion of the crackdown on Zionist groups as well as the escalating political repression that was sweeping over Russia. He also felt like he needed to hand over something big, or the British (his preferred option) would never let him out. Thus, on a cold September night in 1945, Abramovich pleaded his way into the British Embassy in his most broken English. He told the British that Dickstein was at least at one point a Soviet agent. Many in the embassy laughed and demanded he get thrown back outside. That was when a file was pulled out on ‘CROOK’. While ‘CROOK’ was never officially identified in the documents, it certainly seemed to be an important individual.

    As a result, a sting was arranged in New York under the auspices of Operation Lazarus. British agents pretending to be the NKVD called up Dickstein and pleaded for help to convince America to stay on the sidelines in the emerging Cold War. Dickstein initially refused, owing to his intention to resign at the end of the year and become a judge. But when the price of $5000 was mentioned, ‘he could almost be heard salivating over the phone’ said one observer. The fake NKVD agents then said they’d double the payment if Dickstein provided information on the state of the American military. To say Dickstein was enthusiastic was an understatement and he readily agreed to meet with an NKVD representative the next week at a quiet roadside stop. On the night of November 23rd, he waited patiently for a lot of money to come his way, but it never came. The only thing that came his way was a legion of FBI agents who caught him with confidential material. On top of information about the people trafficking network he had set up (provided to the FBI by proxies of British Intelligence), the FBI now had an ironclad case.

    The reaction to Dickstein’s arrest could only be described as Pandemonium.

    ‘RED SPIES AMONG OUR RULERS!’

    ‘COMMUNIST CONSPIRACY AT THE HEART OF WASHINGTON!’

    ‘THE TREASON OF TREASONS!’​

    These were just three contemporary newspaper headlines. As one New York housewife’s diary from the time put it, ‘Everyone in town is walking around with a blank look on their face with just a little bit of terror etched in. We can’t believe it. Were we blind? Were we stupid? If we couldn’t spot that, what else haven’t we found out yet? Was Dickstein as far as it goes? I really hope it is. Because if it isn’t, then I don’t want to imagine the real worst case scenario is. If our own Congressmen were Communists under our nose the whole time, then who’s to say our neighbors aren’t? Our husbands aren’t? Our children aren’t?’ Purchases of firearms skyrocketed, as people feared the government suddenly turning on its citizens and implementing Communism before anyone was ready to resist. Alchohol consumption went up and a statistically demonstrable increase in diagnosed paranoia was recorded by American medical professionals. By now, no one was talking about 'Uncle Joe' anymore.

    Perhaps most important to take into account was Dickstein’s role in the McCormick-Dickstein Committee which investigated the supposed ‘Business Plot’ of 1933. General Smedley Butler had alleged that representatives of top businessmen in America had asked him to launch a coup against Roosevelt but he had betrayed them and turned them in. The Committee concluded the Plot really happened, though the media raised an eyebrow after initial excitement. The news of Dickstein’s arrest now gave two sides to the story. The first, readily believed across the right, was that this was proof the Business Plot never happened and that it was a ploy to support Roosevelt’s Presidency. The second option was that the Business Plotters had got back at Dickstein for daring to fight them. While this view was dangerous in that it excused Dickstein for his crimes, this view also had one great supporter: President Henry Wallace.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2019
  12. RyuDrago Italian? Yes, but also Roman

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    Guareschi writing ATL Don Camillo... I am ecstatic.

    And I admit I felt that De Gasperi would emerge again!

    I wonder right now what would be Hoover's role, as well. If he thinks there is a red threat in the US, he could unleash a ton of scandals over the Democrats...
     
  13. Bookmark1995 Bookmark95 Reborn!

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    Oh Boy.

    I actually used Dickstein in one my TLs. He really was a loathsome son of a bitch, and a horrible stereotype to boot.

    This is not simply going to be a Red Scare. This is going to be Red Scare 2: Electric Bugaloo.

    Wallace's actions and now Dickstein will make a threat of Communism look even more real, giving the Cold Warriors virtual immunity.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019
  14. President Earl Warren Well-Known Member

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    Great update but one nitpick:
    Would Billy Graham really say something like this? He was quite a civil man in general...
     
  15. akoslows Well-Known Member

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  16. LordofWhy Well-Known Member

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    Jesus Christ. These are real people that actually existed.
     
  17. lukedalton Well-Known Member

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    Knowing Edna, nothing of good will come out of it; he will use massive napalm bombardment when a scalpel will do a much better job; image maccartysm up to eleven, people blacklisted in mass and fired from their job for mere hint or simply because unlucky or someone in need to a scapegoat; tons and tons of lifes ruined for absolutely nothing...and knowing him and co. they will probably equal civil rights with communism because sure, only a commie will support them.
    Not that the Euro campaign will not risk to backfire, the letter campaign and the massive influence campaign while meant well can be seen as a foreign interference in the political life of the USA on par of the commie one, expecially the one by the Pope as at the time...well people said that JFK took order from Rome as he was a catholic.

    Benny expanding a little the freedom and cut off autarky will do a lot of good at the italian economy (nothing like a little fear for your life make you take some interesting decision) and having company like Ford (that were boothed out in the 20's) will make the italian industry more efficient (people at FIAT and Ansaldo will probably recover from the stroke).
    Getting a nuclear bomb ASAP will be the number one priority, but for the moment a general modernization of the air forces (jet and bomber) and keeping the army ready will do; intraeuropean collaboration in military and economic matters will be the key, in general relations are cordial enough between the three euroblock (Uk and commonwealth, French and colonies/dependence plus the Benelux and finally the Roman Alliance) that will not that hard to achieve even if i expect that everybody will be very intentioned in mantain their independence

    While i'm happy that ITTL Don Camillo and Peppone exist, knowing Guareschi i also expect that he will found troubles soon enough, the man (a very devot catholic and monarchic) was extremely headstrong even if he probably laugh his ass off if people think that an atheist like Benny is his inspiration for the voice of Jesus (basically Don Camillo conscience and the general voice of common sense and moderation); even if the real conflict will be between city dwellers and countrymen (and Peppone is really and i mean really attached at his town, even for all his talking of modernity)
     
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  18. Alpha-King98760 Aku's most favorite assassin, babe!

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    The future where Aku's evil is law, babe.
    McCarthy’s going to have his work cut out for him.
     
  19. ghilonif Well-Known Member

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    The first first fireworks had exploded, and who knows how deep will McCarthyism go.
    The Letter campaign is indeed a nice allohistorical allusion, OTL it was the other side of the Atlantic who wrote in support of De Gasperi and atlantist positions, but I don't think it will be suffer backfire, Wallace can scream a lot, but the political climate won't hear.
     
  20. Bbone91 I have no powers but I can skip reasonably well.

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    Ouch. Hopefully this Red Scare will burn bright and fast. If it remains like the Fallout-verse Red Scare...
     
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