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. lukedalton Well-Known Member

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    It's WWI nobody partecipate in that massacres without a traumas and while by a lesser degree (and i really really doubt that WW2 have been a walk in the park), in the end A-H will depend on Germany support as OTL, not considering that in the books is stated that just before/during the second great war there are been big revolt from various minority even with the use of suicide bombers (yes this is a big traumas) and that even if victorious it's far from robust; basically by the end of second conflict the Hapsburg Empire will be a fully owned subsidiary of the German Empire and that will do great things for the legitimancy of current enstablishment.

    Italy relations with A-H will flux between bad and horrible but avoiding two world wars and having a more modern nation system mean that by 1944 Italy will be more stable and rich of his eastern neighbourgh...and this mean stretching his diplomatic muscle, even because the ethnic violence hitting A-H will be a serious concern in many italian political circles.
    Regarding who's the attacker in a very probable Italian-Austrian confrontation, well it's hard to say. Italy can rightly sense that the Empire is on his last leg and demand concession and things devolve in a war, on the other hand A-H can try to eliminate the last big problem left or Italy support of balkans and checz freedom fighters will cause a 'punitive expedition'.
    Germany reaction is important but also not a guarantee that they come to save A-H, they have just come through a great war fought on her territory, his industrial core greatly hit (the Rhineland) and frankly their neighbourgh seem always in need that somebody save him and by now doesn't look too well. Maybe they decide to stop the plug and divide the empire in something less troublesome.

    Btw, Spain while officially of the entente remained neutral during the war, so it's very probable that will find herself at least diplomatically isolated so they will probably go to the only great power not controlled by Germany left
     
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  2. Nivek Resident Videogame Expert

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    All is guess but the italians like always, want their country to win over anything

    for me it ended in a meh...nothing changes, both nations try to sable-rattle but with germany superbomb..better not rock the boat that much
     
  3. lukedalton Well-Known Member

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    A nuclear weapon is not a magic thing, it's just a weapon and at the time neither in number or power big enough to be the harbinger of the apocalyptic that we are all familiar and as said A-H is stated to have been greatly hit by internal terrorism and revolt, add the consequences of a great war (that usually doesn't make any of his partecipants more stable or rich...unless you are OTL USA and protected by two oceans) and frankly the chance of continued survival of the A-H Empire look not very good.
    If we also add the fact the principal backer of A-H aka Germany had to deal with the destruction caused by the Anglo-French invasion and frankly with the post-war economic blues, coming always at the rescue of Austria (both military and economically) can be unpopular, many will probably support the 'absorb them anyway' option.

    Finally, Italy by this stage will have enough fund and know how (Fermi will remain in Italy ITTL...and yes you need some big butterfly trap for him to exist but Turtedove in this series had done worse much worse regarding them) to get her own working superbomb in some years, probably roughly on par of OTL UK, so even that kind of menace at best buy time.
     
  4. Nivek Resident Videogame Expert

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    Ditto the US and germany and they're very well, i hate the cliche AH have to die to fullify italia irredentia.
     
  5. lukedalton Well-Known Member

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    It's not that AH have to die for Italy to get his irredente land, it's the fact that A-H was not modern nation and his leaderships was basically clueless or too coward to do the necessary reform till too late; event like a great war put soo much pressure on a system state that only the most resilient survive unscathed or even with limited changes and A-H system, like Russia and the Ottoman one was the less resilient (hell even Italy had a more modern one).
    Plus we don't how well the USA and Germany are in TL-191 after the war is over and both have suffered much having to fight off an invasion that penetrated a lot in their territory, it's only said that both nations agree to not make any other country obtain the superbomb but also that this effort will be probably futile and that their relations are becoming colder. The USA is openly stated that don't have the resources and the will to fight off Japan and basically accept to recognize her conquest, so i don't think that they are so well, and i doubt that occupy the former CSA will be cheap and easy
     
  6. Nivek Resident Videogame Expert

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    under which evidence? OTL they take a war to destroy, here they won(or survive as here try do belittle their effort) two and all their enemies are destroyed
     
  7. lukedalton Well-Known Member

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    The fact that A-H had lost the war was not what caused his demise, even Emperor Karl and the rest of the leaderships know that if A-h doesn't bailed out of the war quickly it will be mooth if they win or lose due to both the damage, the rising nationalities, the disaffection with the current leaderships and the increasily dependence on Germany...and this one year and an half before the end of the OTL war. Sure many kept fighting, but the real problem always come after the shooting is over and people come home; and i don't belittle their effort, but unless you are separated by the fight by an ocean and sell a lot of goods while arriving late at the party...a world war don't make you any good and let you in a worse state than before.
    Well Italy is still there and is basically untouched while A-H and Germany...not, there is also Romania, there are also in the Empire the Bosnian, Romanians, Serbians and others that are in launching terrorist campaign, so i doubt that the internal situation is very quiet and overall friendly.
     
  8. Alterwright "You were never even a player."

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    Italian Armored Cars / Wheeled Tanks - 1920s: Alternative AFVs?

    And now for something completely different.

    Behold! The weird wheeled Italian AFVs.

    swSnYXf.jpg

    ^^^ --- Ansaldo-Pavesi Modello 1925, with Hotchkiss MG mounted in the turret.

    YlvTr4H.jpg

    ^^^ --- Ansaldo-Pavesi Modello 1926, with Hotchkiss MG mounted in the turret and modified wheels for added traction.

    qd9DJml.jpg

    ^^^ --- Ansaldo-Pavesi Modello 1926, armed with 75mm Schneider gun. Armour was between 4mm and 16mm thick.

    Think these babies would see service in the Italian Army? Probably not.
     
  9. Alterwright "You were never even a player."

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    Right. So in a sense a kind of pseudo-country would be made out of a fortress. And since the Leonine City had offices and buildings that were already being used by the denizens of the Vatican, then it would being included in all this.

    The Popes may not have a country anymore, but at least they get a fortress now.
     
  10. Alterwright "You were never even a player."

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    Something occurred to me. In this timeline we may be seeing an Italian Army that is more accustomed to fighting colonial wars in an effort to pacify its inhabitants. Experience would reflect this, as well as equipment, gear, and any armored fighting vehicles it has.

    a5a8e8a14caa44538455091850a87053.jpg

    africa5.jpg

    bafe6838af5f51028a55f3181ee8ccf4.jpg
     
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  11. Allochronian Well-Known Member

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    It's not a pseudo-country. A pseudo-country would more accurately describe Sealand.

    Castel San Angelo would be the only thing that would be considered a "fortress". There would be an open question if there would be an extension to the walls from Vatican City all the way to Castel San Angelo. Regardless, Leonine City would function more like a typical country with a commoner population and access to a body of water, by comparison to what the Pope got in OTL.
     
  12. lukedalton Well-Known Member

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    But A-H (and in minor note France) will still be considered the most probable adversary that Italy will have in a war, so the army will train and equip to fight such conflict as it will be considered the most dangerous; colonial conflict will be fought principally by colonial troops like the Ascari with the addition of italian troops
     
  13. Alterwright "You were never even a player."

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    Yes. In the meantime though, I do imagine the Italian Army, or at least the more elite units of the army trained for tougher environments, would be deployed to the colonies for any potential uprisings or pacifications. Libya comes to mind mostly, given that the Italians for many years attempted to pacify the region... and rather brutally I might add.

    But yes. A war with Austria-Hungary or the anticipation of a war with the Empire is very likely. The front-line, if it were to occur, would be as it was in our timeline, among the mountainous terrain along the border. Fighting, if it were to occur, would break out in the Trentino and in Trieste areas. A standing army would be required to man this border and an emphasis on mountain troops like the Alpini be ideal to patrol this border.

    Despite however devastating that war could be or however potentially disastrous that war could be for Italy, it is highly unlikely that the Italians would not at least put a good amount of troops on that border.
     
  14. lukedalton Well-Known Member

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    Priority will be given to bombers, with the land situation, Dohuet will find his theory having a lot of ears as they can break the possible stalemate; also specializated corps like Paratroopers and MAS will found the favor of the brass as they can strike at the enemy helping the normal army to break the frontline at acceptable cost.
     
  15. Alterwright "You were never even a player."

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    So you're suggesting the Italians, in the event of a possible war with Austria Hungary, would kick things off with an airborne and air assault? To get over the mountainous terrain? Was this a plan that the Italians were actually considering?

    Who is this Dohuet? And what is his theory that the Italians would find appealing?
     
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  16. lukedalton Well-Known Member

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    Well, after seeing the effect of trench warfare, even the italian command will be 'forced' to think someway to break such stalemate and bring a less costly victory and this new things, the airplane seem the ideal way to do that. Well the fascist in OTL thought to use them in Operation C3 aka the invasion of Malta, so with the strategic necessity to bypass the Isonzo fortification line, this mission can be added.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giulio_Douhet

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piaggio_P.108 and this in OTL (and ITTL) will be the things more close to his theories


    Military speaking Italy way of thinking will be for a quick and strong attack, to eliminate immediately the enemy capacity as the nation can afford just a short war against a great power, for economical and political reason (aka Germany); basically Supermarina (Regia Marina high command) will probably plan an Taranto/Peal Harbour analogue operation against the Austrian Navy or/and special force operation like the one done by the MAS
     
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  17. Alterwright "You were never even a player."

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    Right. This assumes that a neutral Italy draws the right the lessons from the war going on around it. And has the industry and funds to produce the materials capable of making such doctrine possible. Douhet seems to have been a firm advocate of air power and strategic bombing, forming his theories based on what he experienced during the Italo-Turkish War. His theories on strategic bombing were certainly put to the test in our timeline, so I wonder if those lessons would still be looked at in TL-191. Billy Mitchell seems to have been a fan, for example.

    There was one major aspect of his theories though that seemed to be a major problem - that air power alone could win a war if enough bombs were dropped on the right targets, basically breaking the people's will to fight. Wasn't exactly the case unfortunately. I believe you'd still need ground forces to apply pressure on the ground, combined arms warfare. The Isonzo is a massive challenge to overcome. I agree that air power and air coverage over this front would be to the benefit of the Italians, and paratroopers can be a massive asset if deployed correctly. They'd still need to coordinate with the army I feel, however.

    Ah, but now you bring up the sea aspect to all of this! When was the MAS created? Would the Italian Navy be capable of a strike like this? Would it risk it? Trieste and any ports the Austrian Navy is harbored would be the primary targets. Do you think diplomacy and negotiation for Trieste and the Trentino would still be an option, given the Austrians' tenuous grip on its own empire?
     
  18. lukedalton Well-Known Member

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    Well OTL the MAS aka Motoscafo armato silurante (Torpedo armed motorboat) was created during the first world war to use against submarine and against surface vessel in infiltratation operation and hit and run tattic; depending on the configuration. It was developed because was very usefull in the shallow water of the Adriatic and in WWII with better and more advanced boat the range and the scope of the operation increased; even including a scuba incursion.
    So the reason to develop the unit and the gear still exist ITTL, with also a lot of enphasis on the port of Vlore and Dures in Albania, as with A-H in control of the territory they can menace italian south and even try some invasion/at least heavy incursion.

    Italy will surely try to negotiate first, the problem is how the previous negotiation had developed and what's the general relationships between the two nation; as said earlier, it's difficult to believe that Italy had remained neutral while A-H had gone in to inglobe the balkans without requesting a compensation...and if an agreement had been reached, by the map seem that Wien and broken it and this mean that fromt the italian side any attempt at negotiate with A-H will short, on point and uncompromising; the continuing ethnic strife in the 30's and during the war, the conflict itself (sure A-H has never been directly menaced, but internal terrorism, air attack and the general economic and social toll of the war will have greatly weakened) and even Germany needing some breathing time mean that any goverment in Rome will think that this is the right moment to put some request towards Wien as the first great war demonstrated that being patient mean just giving them the time to rebuild and stabilize without getting anything.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francesco_Caracciolo-class_battleship will happen ITTL as money is not that tight and there is the need to guard against A-H and France, probably heavily modernizated in the 30's like the OTL Conte di Cavour and Andrea Doria
    https://trucioli.it/2012/11/22/la-portaerei-bonfiglietti-del-1929/ with a little more money and without the need to keep all the various services at each other throat (more than the usual naturally), Regia Marina can have an aircraft carrier

    Well, without the war and without Benny and co. in charge Italy will have more funds (even because no invasion of Abyssinia and massive waste of resources in Spain) and a more sane industrial politics aka the freebies will be much more limited and the goverment will have less problem in buy foreign vehicles if the locals can't deliver or try to milk too much from the contracts...i don't say that all this will not happen, just it will be limited to the normal level of a democracy.
    So, even if it will be difficult and costly, and frankly i doubt that Italy will be capable to have everything she need for that...it will be better than OTL; regarding the doctrine, i think that (ironically) Trentino and Istria will be spared by heavy bombardment and here the limit will be at tattic and air support level, there will be instead a concentrated effort in OTL Austria and Croatia.
    Sure there will be the need to troops and coordination, plus the second great war will clearly show the limit of Dohuet theory, still Italy will need to roll the dice she had and even if i doubt that the italian military enstablishment will ever reach OTL German level performance, i believe that they will reach a sufficient level of professionality to attempt this type of offensive.
    All this mean that the italian armed forces will have in general a better equipment than OTL and i expect a somewhat better officer corps (worse is difficult) as the yes men will not be so encouraged and political appointment more limited, plus no binary division reform
     
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