TL-191: Pax Romana - Neutrality for the Kingdom of Italy (1914-1944)

Discussion in 'Alternate History Books and Media' started by Alterwright, Jan 18, 2019.

  1. ghilonif Well-Known Member

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    The Leonine city OTL is an appendix of Vatican city, with all the embassies, several institutions, several cardinals taking residence there. I think otl Pius XI didn't want to have more land than needed, and refused the offer of the Leonine city.
    But there is another interesting question: what happens to Italian politics, without both world wars and the rise of fascism? I think the era of the Liberal party was going to end anyway after the introduction of universal suffrage, with mass parties like the PSI (socialist) and the PPI (popular democratic christian) taking the lead.
     
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  2. Alterwright "You were never even a player."

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    Well it seems to me that the Italian Navy, the Regia Marina, would continue a modernization program to upgrade its ships. If it really did remain neutral during the Great War, then its only notable conflicts prior to the Great War of 1914 would be the Third Italian War of Independence (or Seven Weeks War) against the Austrians in 1866 and the Italo-Turkish War of 1912 (if it did occur in this timeline).

    I would imagine that at this time the Regia Marina would be in a state of readiness to defend its neutrality, but would of course be unable to contest the Austro-Hungarian Navy operating in the Adriatic Sea. While the British and French would likely make efforts to blockade the Adriatic Sea to prevent the Austrians from striking out into the Mediterranean, things could get complicated with Italy being neutral. While surface Austrian ships would be blockaded, the problem then would lie with stopping Austrian submarines from getting through. Further complicating things would be the relative closeness of foreign ships operating off the coast near Italy.
     
  3. Alterwright "You were never even a player."

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    Why didn't Pius XI want more land then needed? If the Leonine City was, as you say, already populated with people working for the Vatican, and if the Italian government did recognize this fact, wouldn't it be okay to just give it to them?

    Yes, Italy between both great wars in TL-191 would probably be a nation more concerned with its own politics rather than being entangled in foreign adventures like what Mussolini wanted. However, I do feel that without being involved in either war the Italian people would be somewhat divided on certain issues. I can only focus on foreign relations in this case and sore spot I feel that Italians would be divided on even after the end of the Great War would be their alliance with the Central Powers - specifically the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

    It is very likely that Italy after the Great War ends 1917 would not continue to be an ally of the Central Powers. Although neutral and unaligned, I believe that Italy and the Austro-Hungarian Empire would be keeping an eye on one another through the Inter-War period. We might see a change of demographics along the border, perhaps with Italians from the Empire migrating to Italy over the Isonzo over the years. Either way, I foresee a complicated relationship between the Austrians and Italians, with the Austrians eyeing Italy suspiciously.
     
  4. Alterwright "You were never even a player."

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    Here's a question: how likely would it be that Italy would go to war with Austria-Hungary post war, say, after 1945?

    I suppose after the war I can see this happening, but only when the Austro-Hungarian Empire is dissolved --- and I do mean when. I don't believe the Empire has a chance of the surviving the 20th Century after the Second Great War. Perhaps in this way a new European Crisis happens, one in which Italy tries to take advantage of the situation.

    Would that be likely though?
     
  5. Allochronian Well-Known Member

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    I've actually wondered why Leonine City was not included in the Lateran Treaty. Did Mussolini not want to give the Holy See more land or did Pius XI prefer the area surrounding Vatican City as something that was enough? I don't know, sorry.

    All those extra, unanswered questions are missed opportunities from Turtledove. Yeah, I do see some conflict between the Austrians and the Italians.

    I don't see Austria-Hungary "collapsing". Instead, it will become federalized and some plebiscites might occur, making the empire smaller and smaller. Perhaps all that will be left are the major German-speaking areas of the empire. Hungary may or may not still be a part of it. If it does disappear, it will occur slowly and by mutual agreement, allowing it to rest with its imperial dignity intact.
     
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  6. Alterwright "You were never even a player."

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    How likely would it be that the Pope and other figures of prominence or importance would have the threat of attack or assassination in this timeline? Given the prevalence of people bombings by certain groups, extreme political movements, and the amorphous nature of communist cells that do not have a state to call their home, would the Pope face a real threat of being killed for the purposes of a group in TL-191 to prove a point?
     
  7. Nivek Resident Videogame Expert

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    Good way to kill the prosperity of two neutral wars...Germany will demand italy to back off or get superbombed instead
     
  8. Alterwright "You were never even a player."

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    A fair point to make. Then again, would Germany really risk super-bombing another country, especially since it is now making efforts to not use its bombs for the purposes of war? There are checks in Germany here too I feel, diplomacy with the threat of force.
     
  9. Nivek Resident Videogame Expert

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    Yeah but at the same time a neutral nation is theating a bonafide central power, nobody in germany would object, nor the US(some italian americans will want diplomacy but would not object it that much) using that risk theory in a incident like that
     
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  10. Alterwright "You were never even a player."

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    For the purposes of alternate history, I'd say sure! Give the Leonine City to the pope! Wouldn't be the craziest thing that would happen in this timeline if the Vatican got a bit more "thicc" here in terms of land. In all honestly, it sounded like the Italian government wanted to maintain good relations with the pope as it is. And I guess its really up to the fans themselves. This is a case, I feel, that could really go either way. If you think the Leonine City is given to the Pope, there's possibility there for it - if you think the Pope only got the Vatican, then its pretty much like in our world - if you think the Pope would remain a "Prisoner of the Vatican" and refuse to negotiate, then there is possibility for that here too.

    I like to think that the Pope did get the Leonine City. And a extra boost in "security personnel" to help oversee things. Why not, right?

    I see. And what would prompt the Empire to federalize? Can you elaborate more? Would that even be possible given the conditions of this timeline? Even with a victory in two world wars here, especially miraculously surviving the first one, I can't imagine the process of federalizing would be easy, or even welcomed among the Imperial Austrian court. I'm not saying this is isn't possible -- I'm just wondering how it can be done, given that many of the ethnic groups within the Empire really wanted independence.

    Plebiscites might be in an orderly fashion over time, if the Empire can manage it without falling apart in the process, might be their best bet, and Italy especially would be clamoring over it I feel, if it found and opportunity to gain land without blood.
     
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  11. Nivek Resident Videogame Expert

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    You're thinking OTL, TTL, they won, they beat the russians and them just send support to end the bfrench and british, here they won by 1917 and without Isonzo means less stress(plus Caporetto was a draw till 1918 anyway) and WW2 would be mostly against russia and one ends A-H won two wars without traumas, if a checz legion existed they would have joined the tsar as have nobody to run(USA would extradict them, Canada is USA, and so on), dittto any balkan terrorist, their only hope is...south america.

    A-H is stronger that ever here.
     
  12. Alterwright "You were never even a player."

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    Yes. An unaligned nation is threatening an ally of the Central Powers, almost exclusively that ally would be Austria-Hungary. The Imperial German Government and the US Government may not object to intervening in behalf of the Austrians, but to go as far as using a super-bomb? Even in our timeline, the use of atomic weaponry garnered serious debate and the consequences were heavily considered - Truman and MacArthur, for example, butted heads over this issue too in Korea, about bombing the Chinese, a country that had no nuclear weaponry. Since both Germany and the United States experienced atomic attacks first hand, with long term effects only now becoming fully realized, the use of a bomb to stop Italy in taking land from the Austrians would be met with opposition I feel.

    Almost certainly the issue would be about Italian people and lands within the Austro-Hungarian Empire post Second Great War and even post First Great War. This would undoubtedly be a sore spot for everyone involved.
     
  13. Nivek Resident Videogame Expert

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    We USED 10 bombs in universe, Bombs are a diplomatic line in the sand that the world ending weapon, that is a butterfly in-universe, germany is telling Italy: "Backoff or we will shot first" thread, that is a realistic one. Plus is italy the one starting the threats...that will not make anyone happy in Berlin or philadelphia either, plus the CP alliance is defensive, when the USA might say we can only send moral support as Europe is far away, italy is alone, this kill all the properisty the earned in both wars too
     
  14. Allochronian Well-Known Member

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    If we accept Turtledove's version that Italy is never involved in the Great Wars, then the Pope wouldn't be worried about assassination as much as he and his predecessors did in OTL. Featherston might make a comment to France and Britain about permanently shutting the Holy Father up, but is never taken seriously by the Catholic monarch of France and Mosley due to the extreme backlash by the faithful in their respective nations and around the world.

    Assassination would be more of a concern in North America due to the more violent nature of nations in that continent in TL-191. Remembrancism and Confederate Freedomism sure do make people more violent.

    I also like the idea of Leonine City being created, too. I know there are other options, too, but I always try to balance out what would be cool in TL-191 vs. what would be more realistic in TL-191. Realistically, there would have eventually been some kind reconciliation between Italy and the Holy See, with or without Mussolini. But... since TL-191 leans more toward pessimistic scenarios, I'd say that the Pope remains a "Prisoner in the Vatican"...

    Oh, all right, why the heck not? Give Leonine City to the Pope! :)

    In real life, there was a plan to federalize Austria-Hungary, but the idea died when Franz Ferdinand was assassinated. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_of_Greater_Austria

    Even if A-H won the First Great War, the Empire would still be fragile and supported economically by Germany. If Emperor Charles plays it safe, he could resurrect the idea of a federalized monarchy to make sure that people were happy. However, it would not stop independence movements from occurring. Eventually, the Austrian Emperor is going to have to let some states go if it still wants to keep its Hapsburg prestige, regardless of the size of the Empire.

    Side note: I always assumed that it would be better for Austria-Hungary to not get involved in the Second Great War, including Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire. Since Emperor Charles was someone who wanted to end the war, I highly doubt he would want to have his country be involved in another one. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_I_of_Austria
     
  15. Nivek Resident Videogame Expert

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    That is not much his will as much russian scared him enought he have to do something
     
  16. Alterwright "You were never even a player."

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    No. I disagree. The Austro-Hungarians may have won both wars, but they are not stronger than ever because they have won them. Evidence from the novels and history suggests this. In the Great War, it was very apparent that the Austro-Hungarians depended upon Germany for a great deal of its successes in the field and German took more control over their armies. After the end of the war in 1917, Slavs and Serbs within the Empire remained rebellious after the Austro-Hungarians annexed Serbia and other lands, with other groups clamoring for independence and being summarily suppressed. The Empire had lost prestige was effectively eclipsed by the Germans, the new emperor was inexperienced, and the ethnic tensions within its borders remained tumultuous.

    The Austro-Hungarians may have had to only fight the Russians and Serbs, but their armies were far from effective in their task. Even with no war against Italy, the troops that would have been on the Isonzo were not a significant bulk of the army --- the vast majority were deployed against the Russians and Serbs. Even then their army performed poorly, with the Serbs beating off several offensives before the Germans and Bulgarians stepped in to overrun the country in a third offensive and with the their armies in the east practically disintegrating against the Russians in the Brusilov Offensive. Both events can be reasonably assumed to have taken place, even with the initiative being put into the Central Powers favor.

    In the Second Great War, the Empire was plagued by open rebellion from almost every ethnic group within its borders. Serbs, Bosnians, and Romanians had support from the Russian Empire, which sought to further destabilize the Austro-Hungarians by creating havoc behind Austrian lines, taking away men from the front in the process. People-bombers and rebel cells took to terror tactics and armed revolts. This would have put incredible strain on the Empire just to clamp down on these rebellions and ensure its troops remained at the front, troops who's loyalty may be called into question even.

    It survived, but I don't believe it is strong and robust empire because it did survive two wars. Far from it. And it would be something that its neighbors would be keenly aware of.
     
  17. Alterwright "You were never even a player."

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    Using atomic weaponry in TL-191 post-second great war is something that Germany and the United States was keenly interested in policing. These bombs were used in a time of war by countries desperate enough to drastically turn the tides in their favor and willing to kill thousands in the blink of an eye to do it. They were not tools of diplomacy.

    After the they wanted to prevent other nations from making atomic weapons and imposed very strict regulations in countries that already made them and already used them. Neither is going to use the threat of using a bomb on another country as a first-option diplomatic measure. That kind of escalation is something the United States would intervene in, even if Germany is an ally. They have to set an example and using atomic weapons as a threat is hypocritical to their roles and "policemen" when it comes to atomic weaponry.
     
  18. Alterwright "You were never even a player."

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    Yes, no doubt the Empire would be very fragile after the war, even if it was the victor. In our timeline the war took a massive toll on the Empire and it led to its collapse. Offensives and operations in the field against the Russians in this timeline would generate massive casualties and incite further resentment of the Empire. Post-war Germany would practically be Austria-Hungary's crutch economically and militarily speaking. And with ethnic groups in the Empire insistent on independence, the peaceful years will be one of great strain for Austria-Hungary.

    Federalization and perhaps more autonomy akin to what Hungary got is probably the best bet for the Empire if it wishes to survive. And I agree, even then the Austrians have to be prepared to give up territory just to keep the Empire as a whole intact. It will be a tough decision that hardly anyone at court would be willing to consider but it must be an serious option.

    Getting back to Italy here, I believe that in these years of peace that the issue of Italians within the Austro-Hungarian Empire would be of keen interest diplomatically. With unruly ethnic populations the Empire would have to make a difficult decision, that being giving Trentino and Trieste to the Italians. Would they do it? They might have to and its an opportunity for Italy to exploit a weakening empire.

    If this was to happen I can see it happening both post Great War and post Second Great War, if you really want to drag it out over many years, with the Austrians always understandably too stubborn to give land up. With how much influence Germany would have on the Austrians, they may act as a kind of mediator for them. As ever, I believe the Italians would be clamoring first for this acquisition of land, angering the Austrians and possibly turning the situation into a potential war, but with the Germans possibly stepping in mediators to force a compromise.

    Perhaps that likely, perhaps its not, but this issue with Italians in the Empire will continue to be a pony of contention unless resolved and the Austrians will major headache because of it.
     
  19. Alterwright "You were never even a player."

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    Ratti1922.jpg

    De Pope is pleased with this post and blesses it with joy.
     
  20. Allochronian Well-Known Member

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    :D :D :D

    * Side note: I would like to clarify something about Leonine City. While it is true that the territory that constitutes "Leonine City" is generally bigger that "Vatican City", if the Pope were to only accept it, then it would not include some parts of Vatican City. If an agreement does occur between the Holy See and Italy, the end result would be an addition of Vatican City AND Leonine City.

    Here are some maps for comparison:

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    Old map of Leonine City surrounded by the Leonine Walls (these walls will eventually be INSIDE the Walls of Vatican City)

    [​IMG]
    Vatican City in Red, next to XIV (Borgo, Rioni of Rome). Leonine City would have included all of XIV.

    [​IMG]
    Map of Rome that includes walls and other subdivisions within this region

    [​IMG]
    Another map of Leonine City

    [​IMG]
    This is how Leonine City combined with Vatican City would look like. Notice that Castel San Angelo is included and that part of the territory borders the Tiber River
     
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