The Footprint of Mussolini - TL

The way that sounds, it makes Italy look like the head of the mafia. Kinda ironic, don't cha think?
Well, the alliances of the Cold War have a tendency of being very similar to the internal mechanics of organized crime...
The RA has just a smaller boss and more dickheads crooks (Pavelic), so it's more highlighted
With the fighting in Greece and the Balkans I could see the Alliance creating air mobile forces and counter insurgency operations. The Greeks may be pacified with military modernization and economic investment in the country. Would the alliance create a pan-alliance rapid reaction force for emergencies?
Nah, the best way is killing Pavelic with a single blow, otherwise why call the operation Brutus in first place. They will kill the guy, cried it was a Communist terror attack, then go install a new government which ASAP will call for a ceasefire.
In the hypothetical scenario that this thread becomes a novel written by Sorairo and becomes adapted into a movie, I have created a cover for the hypothetical novel:
Yeah, that would be pretty cool, if not for a cover's detail: that's a carabiniere, Italy's royal gendarme (a sort of militarized policeman).They are the ones who arrested Mussolini after his dimission from head of govern in 1943.

For the symbolic fighter of fascism you'll need something like the élite black shirts corp called "M Battalions". Those hads black shirts under the military fatigue and the "M" of Mussolini on the collar.
There're also the "X° MAS", but people forget that after the '43 armistice, part of them sided with the king, becoming the "Mariassalto" (roughlty the contraction of "assault marines"). The M Battalions are one of the few completely fascist combatworthy units.

Under here we got a photo of M Battalion's soldier. Okay, is not "large" like the carabiniere and has a pretty ugly mugshot, but it's the first photo I found. Also, him smiling is pretty accurate with a winning Mussolini and fascism.

We can also see how the M Battalions had pretty good equipment in comparison with other italian units: he's carring a MAB 38A submachine gun and a model "Samurai" magazine-holding vest, so called because the horizontal ammo magazines resembled a samurai's armor.
Nah, the best way is killing Pavelic with a single blow, otherwise why call the operation Brutus in first place. They will kill the guy, cried it was a Communist terror attack, then go install a new government which ASAP will call for a ceasefire.

Wasn't the assassination of Caesar supposed to be a bold political statement, rather than an exercise in efficiency and misdirection?

Normally blaming the communists might work, but just now they are trying to end a war with Communists. So that's a sticky wicket.

But yeah I could see Mussolini wanting Pavelic feet first. Putting him on trial even in a 'secure court' risks him revealing inconvenient data of the RA plans or building himself up as a martyr for his loyalists. So it may be best they decide to take the blow of an RA leader being assassinated and get a purge going ASAP. At the very least the world is not likely to strongly object to Fascist Methods being employed against Pavelic sand his hardliners.
More Peace, More War
Hi all. Hope all's well and hope you like the update.

More Peace, More War

The Making of the Fascist Bloc by Jodie Rutkins

On December 20th, one of the most important events in the history of the Roman Alliance occurred. It was the moment the members of the Roman Alliance knew that they could not threaten the security of the organisation or they would face obliteration. Pavelić had repeatedly risked Soviet involvement in the Croat-Serbian War, which would have destroyed the Roman Alliance. His atrocities against Orthodox Christians outraged Orthodox Bulgaria and burned serious bridges in Greece. Not to mention that he severely retarded relations with the West. Operation Brutus would serve as a reminder that being in the Fascist Bloc was not a blank check to rape and pillage as much as each member state wanted, but a security organisation to protect the existence of her members. This would work as a ‘third way’ between the laissez-faire attitude of the democracies and the iron dictation of the Soviet Union.

Fuelled by his lust for revenge, Kvaternik lobbied every connection he had ever amassed in Croatia. He was overjoyed to discover that most of the army had likewise grown to loathe Pavelić. The disasters in Serbia had now invited a simmering resentment in Bosnia, which would be impossible for the army to contain. Timoslav had arranged a series of meetings in the safety of his Zagreb Palace and enjoyed considerable protection from Mussolini, who was whole-heartedly behind the endeavor. Ultimately, the army overwhelmingly agreed to side with the plot, while the Ustashe Party remained mostly committed to Pavelić for their religious hatred against Serbia. Indeed, rumours were swelling that Pavelić planned a purge not unlike Himmler or Stalin for their failure to take Belgrade. Finally, it was agreed that enough men had been organised to make a smooth transition. With all things put in place, December 20th opened with Timoslav making an urgent request to see Pavelić at the Palace. Pavelić had developed an air of invincibility about him for his certainty of ultimate victory and failed even to bring bodyguards. It couldn’t have gone any better.

When Pavelić walked into the Palace, he entered the throne room, only to find there was no one there. Then ten OVRA agents burst out of the doors and grabbed Pavelić before he could fight back. He was dragged to the basement and given a show trial that lasted for less than ten minutes (Kvaternik wanted him dead as soon as possible but the Italians insisted on even the shortest possible one). He was accused of ‘criminal incompetence’ and ‘treason against Croatia and Fascism’. ‘ Of course, the outcome was obvious – Pavelić was shot in the back of the head seconds after the verdict of guilty was announced. Photos were taken to prove his demise and were sent as quickly as possible to all the leaders of the Roman Alliance, who were invariably relieved. With that, the rest of the coup unfolded. Prime Minister Nikola Mandić was thrown out a fourth-story window by the OVRA and died instantly. Vjeckoslav Vrančić, the head of Croatian Foreign Affairs and one of the chief instigators of genocide in the Third Balkan War, was ran over by an army truck driven when he tried to escape. Vjekoslav Luburić, who had carried out the order to destroy Orthodox Christianity in Serbia, was thrown off a cliff at his headquarters in Serbian territory. December 20th is described in modern Croatia as ‘The Day of Blood’. It is estimated that some 3000 Ustashe members were killed by the OVRA and army in Croatia and occupied Serbia, which decapitated the organisation (and certainly her most fanatical and criminal members). With total communications support from Rome, Kvaternik was able to easily coordinate the operation. On Christmas Day, Croatia was declared secure from a counter-coup. Pavelić was accused over Croatian radio of much the same charges his show-trial had accused of him. Croatians (especially Bosnians) had come to dislike Pavelić for his failures in the recent war, and were ready to see change. Kvaternik became Poglavnik (leader) of Croatia, though laws were quickly passed giving Timoslav veto power, and further purges of the Ustashe were committed, with another 2000 being killed or imprisoned in the coming years. The broken party quickly came to be dominated by Kvaternik, who wasted no time in asking for a ceasefire on December 27th. Though Tito was suspicious of Kvaternik, he much preferred a ceasefire over a hard slog to Zagreb (if that was even possible).

The Treaty of Sarajevo was signed on December 31st 1946, with attendance from Ciano and Molotov. Repeating their Bucharest standoff, the Soviets knew they had the upper-hand. Ciano and Kvaternik reluctantly agreed that limited amounts of Soviet troops could be given to Serbia to defend herself (though nowhere near enough to threaten Croatia). In return, Croatia would not have to pay reparations to Serbia (who would soon receive financial support from the Soviets) and no border adjustments were made. While this seemed to be a massive victory for the Soviets, it was not. The removal of Croatia’s worst element led to the West being far more willing to associate with the Roman Alliance. De Gaulle personally sent Mussolini a letter of thanks for having served justice to Pavelić. Churchill would commence his return to the House of Commons by leading an ovation for ‘the purge of that most criminal organisation in Croatia’ which met with strong agreement from all sides of the benches – though a subsequent thanks to Mussolini for his involvement was met with some heckling. Ultimately, the Day of Blood would greatly increase cooperation with West and South, which become extremely important due to the heart attack they would receive just a year from then.

Mussolini: The Twentieth Century Man by Joseph Manderlay

The situation in Greece would be another area that demonstrated somewhat of an improvement in the morality of the Roman Alliance (not that they ever came close to virtuous). By April 1946, Athens was declared secure, though the Jewish community unfortunately mostly fled to Solun (formerly Thessaloniki, which had been a traditional Jewish haven and acted as one once again). Rallis pleaded with his masters to allow him more leeway to operate. Though he went in thinking this was a hopeless venture, he was amazed at the outcome. The members of the Fascist Bloc had realised the hard way that brutal force alone could not work in keeping her Alliance secure. They knew it was a path to being bogged down in a dozen guerilla wars at once. As a result, Italy, Bulgaria and Turkey all agreed that they had to treat the Greeks much better than they did previously. They would never win their love, but they could win their acquiescence. But of course, the first thing was to win the war.

The Greek Civil War was concluded much sooner than many expected (many observers felt it would linger in such a mountainous country). Instead, severe divisions among the Communists about strategy (Zachariadis having put a target on his back for his disasterous failed assault on Athens) made the situation much easier than anyone foresaw. The Regia Aeronautica acted with surprising restraint, but they were still able to grind the Communists to powder. With modern tanks, guns and the coast blockaded, it was only a matter of time. Zachariadis’s order to make a stand at Sparta equivalent to the 300 were met with an attempted coup, the result of which being that Sparta was seized almost without a fight due to the weakened state of the Communist fighters. By the end of October 1946, Greece was declared secure once again. With the war won, the difficult task became how to win the peace.

On January 8th 1947, the Treaty of Athens was signed. In it, a mild resuscitation of Greece occurred (though the country would now be placed under permanent but not wildly visible occupation). Firstly, she was opened up to investments not just from the Roman Alliance but Britain and France as well. The Greek government would be granted autonomy over most of the domestic sphere (except in matters where foreign policy was explicitly addressed). Greek minorities in Italian Albania, Bulgaria and mainland Turkey would be given extended and well-defined rights to practice their ways of life as seen fit. Perhaps most excitingly for Rallis, Turkey accepted an offer of joint rule over Crete. While the only troops on the island would be Turkish, the Greeks would be given much more of a say over what happened on the island. As a last nod, Greece was promised that in a few years, it would join the Roman Alliance as a full member, enjoying her full protection (though threatened that if she were to act out of line, the fate of Croatia would soon be repeated). Rallis declared to the Greek people the wisdom of collaboration, and how he had saved Greece from total destruction. While the Treaty of Athens didn’t create any good feelings among the Greeks for Italy or her allies, they were all relieved not just that the war was over, but that Greece would soon be given more freedom. This would be a wise decision for Mussolini, as it would lead to far more troops being available in the wars to come, the Arabian Wars especially.

‘The Arab Tragedy: 1944–1956’ by Abdul Nazim

The first seeds of the Cold War’s wrath in the Middle East were planted in Iran. After Wallace’s abrupt pullout of American forces agreed to at Potsdam, the Soviets and British were left still occupying the region, primarily north and south respectively. The initial plan was to leave when the war was over, but the quick and decisive deterioration in relations between the two meant that neither side was willing to budge. The British desperately wanted to keep her oil investments safe in the south of the country, under the guard of British Petroleum, whose use of Iranian material wealth had developed more than a few cases of resentment among Persians. The Soviets were desperate to avoid another Anti-Communist power on her border, which they believed would be the result if they pulled from Iran. As the deadline for leaving Iran approached, both sides refused to leave. Indeed, some have suggested that one reason Churchill was so keen to cling to India through granting it Dominion status in 1946 was the belief that the Third World War could erupt in Iran between British and Soviet troops.

Finally, it was agreed that the situation could not be resolved through the creation of a neutral state, owing to the interests of both parties. On July 8th 1946, both sides met in Qom and made the ‘Qom Agreement’, which divided Iran into two separate countries. The north would be a Soviet Socialist Republic, the south a Constitutional Monarchy with the Shah as a figurehead but the main power resting in a democratic parliament (Britain would naturally keep her control over the oil and have a token occupation force). The division was set at the 34th Parallel – Tehran would be the capital of North Iran and Bandar-Abbas the capital of South Iran. As the Soviet border was secure and almost all oil fields in Iran were under British control (not to mention the Gulf), both parties were happy. The announcement created a short-lived firestorm of riots in Tehran that were mercilessly obliterated by the Soviets. Ironically, the British discouraged reporting on the incident, as it didn’t want to be seen as making a deal with such a hated power for Imperialism’s sake.

The Soviets soon realised how much of a nightmare they’d inherited. With almost no natural resources, they’d inherited a mountainous region that was tailor-made for ambushes and guerilla warfare. The liberals, religious conservatives, feudal lords and capitalists overwhelmingly opposed them – the Tudeh Party was established as the sole representative of the Iranian people, much to the Iranian people’s dismay. In particular, it would be the religious conservatives who opposed the Soviets with all their vigor. For the moment they only received token support compared to more moderate, Western aligned groups that were on friendly terms with the Southern government under Mohammad Mosaddegh, a nationalist politician who had impressed the West with his resolute will to reunite Iran under ‘Shah, Allah and Democracy’. The ride in Iran would not be smooth in the coming years, especially for the British and Soviets. Of course, the Arabs would be one of the main victims in the ensuing carnage that resulted from the partition of Iran.

We Brave Few: Europe 1945-1949 by Abraham Ferguson

In response to the Roman Alliance’s purge in Croatia, British and French planners were much more open to working with the Fascists. However, they both knew that joining the Bloc was politically impossible. As a result, the seeds of a democratic alliance blossomed. It would be the democratic alternative to the Fascist Bloc, though they had no intention of being enemies. The reality of Soviet pressure forced democratic Europe to come to the table and join forces. This would lead to the creation of ETO (European Treaty Organisation). The initial document signing was held in Copenhagen on March 15th 1947. The initial members would include:

· The British Empire

· France

· Belgium

· The Netherlands

· Denmark

· Norway

· Sweden

· Luxembourg

In addition, everyone knew that Czechia and West Germany could be relied on in a fight, though it was then diplomatically impossible owing to the former’s supposedly going to be given to a neutral Czechoslovakia and the latter due to her prior fighting. The colonial question was particularly difficult, with Sweden especially refusing to defend the practice (it had barely agreed to join, and that only due to Communism resting on her border). The Scandinavian nations were assured that any colonial revolts would not be considered as part of the defensive arrangement (unless invaded by a third party). Sweden's ultimate agreement to joining ETO was controversial, but the reality of the brutal situation in Finland convinced the Swedes it was worth the price.

In response, Stalin decided he needed to form his own organisation. In an impressive measure of grandiosity (even for himself), he created the ‘Stalingrad Pact’, signed in the famous city on May 1st 1946. The initial members of the Stalingrad Pact were:

· The Soviet Union

· The People’s Republic of Korea

· The People’s Republic of Mongolia

· The People’s Republic of Iran

· The People’s Republic of Hokkaido

· The People’s Republic of Serbia

It was paltry compared to the West’s arrangement, especially given the total lack of strong, European partners. Slovakia was still supposedly heading to neutrality, Stalin never wanted an armed Germany again and China was too divided to be a reliable partner. That was when the pressure began to increase on Poland. Stalin ordered the Poles to join his new alliance to beef up his numbers. The Poles were appalled at the thought and refused. Stalin was infuriated and ordered troop levels in Poland to double, which was met with countless examples of passive resistance. Trains stopped working whenever a Soviet carriage went by. Material deliveries to the Soviets were so low-grade they were already falling apart by the time they crossed the border. But not only that, the people of Poland became more defiant than ever. Russian troops were berated at and chanted in the streets with ‘go home!’ On July 15th 1947 a march was held in the centre of Warsaw, with an estimated one million people attending. The Polish government had organised it as a show of resistance to the Soviets and to let Stalin understand what he was up against. That was when President Raszkiewicz announced that there would be a referendum would be held on August 15th (the anniversary of Poland’s victory over Russia in the First Polish-Soviet War) to determine not just whether Poland would join the Stalingrad Pact, but whether it would join ETO. Stalin was so incensed at the news he almost collapsed. He ordered Molotov to make a final attempt to reason with the Poles ‘or else we’ll simply leave charred grass and rubble where Poland once existed’.

The Dark Decade: America in the 40s by Wendy Walters

Anti-Communist energies, which had escalated to a peak exceeding 1919 with the arrest of Dickstein, reached further heights in 1946. This was initially due to the Great Strike Wave of 1945/1946. It was a series of strikes throughout most major industries in America, and would be the largest in American history (subsequent laws would make any reprise almost impossible). Some strikes reached as many as three quarters of a million in the case of the steel workers unions. The timing was extremely unfortunate – with America already looking for Communism in every corner, the strikes were seen as a Communist plot to destabilize America. Wallace added fuel to the fire by lambasting employers for refusing to meet union demands. Major employers soon found something extraordinary – many men actually volunteered to break the strikes for them without even being paid. In the south, the KKK (which had experienced a resurgence in the south owing to Dickstein’s reveal of being a Communist as well as Jewish) would often patrol the town to make sure strikes were stopped as quickly as they started. Similar things happened in New York, with Italian-Americans (obviously not co-operating with the Klan) forming makeshift groups to attack strikers without even going to the employers (many of whom were outraged since it often increased the determination of the strikers). The police departments (and especially the FBI) often turned a blind eye to the attacks, including one riot in New York that killed ten strikers and three strike breakers. The resulting uncertainty, of strikes and riots becoming commonplace in America’s major cities, made the economy suffer. As a result, Wallace’s popularity fell even further. By mid 1946, Gallup recorded an approval rating of 29%.

Yet Wallace only seemed to double-down on his prior convictions with a near Messianic belief that he could be the person who would single-handedly save the world from another World War (a belief that seems to have been created in reaction to the hatred he received from Conservative and Fascist forces). This was when Wallace committed what was perhaps his most infamous act. In August 1946, Wallace met with Anatoly Gorsky, who ran the NKGB’s Washington station. Wallace explained that with the threat of the Fascists (he stated the Croatia’s invasion of Serbia as the moment he decided Fascism was impossible to negotiate with, the Greek Civil War only confirming this view) he decided that the Soviet Union needed help to ensure they would never be attacked by ‘Colonists and Fascists’. To that end, he offered something extraordinary: he would hand over Atomic Technology to the Soviet Union to speed up their own Atomic program [1]. Wallace explained that he was sure this would make the Fascists think twice about attacking the Soviets, thus ensuring peace in Europe. Gorsky was so amazed that he reportedly asked a member of the Soviet delegation at the Embassy whether he was drunk without knowing it. When Stalin read the report, he was just as flabbergasted. He asked to check whether Wallace really was on their payroll (it wouldn’t be until the unearthing of Soviet archives in the late 1970s that it was finally proven Wallace was not a spy), before reluctantly agreeing. Indeed, Stalin’s suspicions of Wallace would thankfully somewhat delay the Soviet’s getting the Bomb. Wallace had furthermore only deepened the extent of Soviet espionage within the White House over 1946. With Alger Hiss and Henry Dexter White already there, John Abt and Charles Kramer became Wallace’s Chief of Staff and Secretary for Agriculture respectively. He had known both of them in the Department of Agriculture and had gotten along with them; they were both active Soviet agents. [2] Vito Marcantonio defected to the Democrats to support Wallace as well; Wallace even briefly considered making him Attorney General before feeling it would step on too many toes.

Yet with the sheer extent of Soviet influence now flooding the White House, mistakes were inevitable. Perhaps the most blatant was on July 22nd 1946, where Wallace declared that the strike-breaks that had recently attacked strikers in Pittsburgh were ‘walking, talking and attacking like crooked Fascists’. Two days later, an investigative reporter for the Chicago Tribune discovered that the exact phrase had been used in an article in the Daily Worker (a Communist newspaper) that morning to describe the exact same people in the exact same way [3]. While Wallace dismissed it as a ridiculous coincidence, it now seems likely that Abt had lazily placed the suggestion in front of Wallace while foolishly thinking no one would spot it. It seemed that there was such an air of comfort to Soviet spies in the White House that they almost thought they’d never be found. According to Soviet Intelligence reports, Hiss in particular was infuriated and almost started a fight with Abt before both realised that their situation was too serious to be divided. The blunder had allowed a new belief to work its way through America, one that many Americans were terrified to think but one that might well be true: What if the President was a Communist double-agent? In Wisconsin, that was what one man in particular was arguing.

[1] This meeting happened OTL, but Wallace didn’t have the resources to make it happen.

[2] Also OTL. They were Wallace’s counsel and speechwriter in the Progressive Party respectively.

[3] Believe it or not, this is even milder than OTL. He quoted the Daily Worker that Jan Masaryk ‘could have died of cancer’ and stated it was no more suspicious than the recent death of a Republican politician.
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Thanks, Henry, you made Joe McCarthy famous ITTL...

Thanks a whole lot (this is far, far worse than what our current president is being accused of, it should go without saying)...
Prime Minister Nikola Mandić was thrown out a fourth-story window by the OVRA and died instantly

Huh, you know the theatrics of throwing someone out of the window always kind of puzzled me. It also for some reason feels like a comic act too, perhaps because Western animation classics so often use falls for gags? As if the act of throwing him like that is them making light of this somehow.
I really like this TL so far.

However, one cautionary note: McCarthy is far from the most prominent anti-communist in the U.S. in 1946 [and thanks to Rep. Charles Kersten, he isn't even the most prominent anti-communist in Wisconsin]. In 1946, as I recall, he's a local circuit judge in the Appleton area just starting to think about running for senate. What I remember of McCarthy is that he glommed onto anti-communism somewhat later--48 or 49 I believe--as a response to the "who lost China" phenomenon.

Now, it's certainly plausible that you get McCarthy and McCarthyism ITTL, but given the prominence of anti-communism this early, I actually think Charles Kersten is probably more likely to challenge Bob Lafollette than McCarthy. A conservative, Catholic Republican with deep ties to anti-communist Catholics in Europe, Kersten was probably one of the more careful members of HUAC, and collaborated closely with Nixon on the Hiss investigation as I recall.

However, you can still use McCarthy, even if you have Kersten take the senate seat; a house seat could open up, and since HUAC is the main organ investigating the communists at this point, he could rise to prominence that way. [McCarthy making Nixon look like the moderate on the HUAC is actually kind of a fun idea].

One other prominent Catholic anti-communist who might be important at the time? Bobby Kennedy. IIRC he's the most devout of the Kennedy brothers, and worked for McCarthy in the early days. I could see Joe Kennedy being so disgusted with the Wallace Democrats that he bolts the party, and takes his sons with him. Bobby cutting his teeth as a HUAC investigator in this hyper-charged atmosphere could be extremely interesting.

Anyway, look forward to more.
Something I think people are overlooking here:
(it wouldn’t be until the unearthing of Soviet archives in the late 1970s that it was finally proven Wallace was not a spy)

Weren't a lot of Soviet archives declassified after the Fall of the USSR IOTL?
Dammit Wallace! Why’d you have to be the ForAll Time incarnation rather than your more level-headed incarnation in How Silent Fall the Cherry Blossoms?