Italy 1936 - An alternate Italian history of World War II
September 19th 1944
The Soviet Union and Finland sign an armistice putting an end to the Continuation War.
September 30th 1944
Operation Market Garden ends in a partial success for the Allies. They manage to secure some of the bridges leading into Germany but Montgomeryís cautiousness allows Germany to destroy the other bridges. Germany is also forced to transfer divisions from the East to this new front.
October 2nd 1944
After failing to be supplied by the Russians and inconsistent attempts from the Allies to supply the Warsaw pocket, the Warsaw Uprising is put down by the Germans resulting in the deaths of over 250,000 Poles.
October 8th 1944
The war crosses into Hungary as the Soviet juggernaut seems to be unstoppable.
October 14th 1944
Accused of being involved in the July 20th plot General Rommel commits suicide to spare his family from Nazi reprisals. He is given a state funeral with full military honors and is said to have been killed at the front while personally directing the defense against the Allies.
October 14th 1944
Hitler creates the Volkssturm, a militia of all able bodied German men 16-60.
October 21st 1944
Aachen is the first German city to fall to the Allies.
The Falco is forced to halt flight operations after a pilot in training crashed on landing and detonated nearby fuel stores resulting in extensive damage to the deck and hangar. The Falco will be forced to undergo repairs and will be out of service for the next one to two months.
Germany assembles all available western front forces around the Ardennes region for a planned winter offensive. The Germanís goal is to divide the Allied forces in half and drive them back to the sea. Germany is also planning to place German soldiers disguised as American MPís behind enemy lines to sow confusion within the Allied ranks.
December 16th 1944
The Ardennes Offensive is launched. The Allies are taken by surprise by the Germans with many of the more experienced units rotated to the rear for R&R. The Germans make significant gains in the initial advance.
General George C. Marshall is promoted to General of the Army.
*Note: General of the Army is more commonly known as Five Star General.*
December 20th 1944
The Allies launch minor counter offensives against the Germans. The Germans are still able to continue their advance.
Dwight D. Eisenhower is promoted to Five Star General.
In the United States, the Draft Board informs men into their 40's that if the United States loses the Battle of the Bulge (as the Ardennes Offensive has become known) to prepare to be drafted into service.
December 22nd 1944
General McAuliffe of the 101st Airborne, currently trapped in the besieged city of Bastonge responds to the Germansí demand for surrender with one word "Nuts!"
December 24th 1944
The German offensive comes to an end and the bulge reaches its deepest point at Celles.
December 26th 1944
General Patton in command of the 3rd Army breaks the siege of Bastonge.
January 1st 1945
It has become quite clear that Germany will lose the war and Mussolini is forced to prepare for this inevitability and orders a mobilization of forces for an occupation of Austria to "secure and protect" Italian interests.
Italy also has to deal with an acute refugee problem, Hungarians fleeing from the Soviets seek safety by crossing into Italy, they are given the same treatment as the Romanian refugees but this is viewed as only a temporary solution. The Grand Council and Mussolini must come up with measures to regulate these refugees and the soon to arrive Germans.
January 6th 1945
Sparviero has begun flight training. The training program is slowed down to prevent another accident like seen on the Falco.
January 12th 1945
The Soviets launch the Vistula-Oder offensive in Eastern Europe.
January 18th 1945
The Soviets occupy Warsaw.
February 4th 1945
Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin meet in Yalta to discuss the post war fate of Europe. En route Churchill purposely stops in Turkey first and takes a plane to the Crimea to avoid having to ask permission from the Italians to pass through the Bosporus, Roosevelt in a show of solidarity does the same.
The key terms of the conference are the following:
1. The unconditional surrender of Germany.
2. Germany is forced to be demilitarized and denazified.
3. The Polish Provisional Government put in place by the Soviets is recognized as long as they have elections.
4. The Soviet Union agrees to enter into the war against Japan within 90 days of the Surrender of Germany. They will receive the southern half of the Sakhalin and the Kurile Islands.
5. The participants all agree to the formation of the United Nations to replace the League of Nations. They agree that the permanent members of the Security Council are given Veto Powers.
The issue of Italy also comes up but no consensus can be reached at this time. Stalin wants to go to war with Italy right after the war to liberate the Balkans. He sees the chance to establish more puppet states in the East and remove a potential enemy. Churchill wants to see something done to Mussolini the man who caused him so much stress and criticism, but he is not too enthusiastic about going to war. Roosevelt, on the other hand believes sanctions and diplomacy through the United Nations can solve the problem. Churchill and Stalin both voice their opposition to allowing Italy to join the U.N.
*Note: Churchill does want to go to war with Italy, but he does not know how much longer the British economy can continue the war. Britain is disbanding a division a month at this point to keep their front line units at full strength. He is also concerned about Soviet expansion in the Balkans, and believes unfortunately that Italian domination of the region is a way to keep the Soviets off balance.*
February 20th 1945
The mobilized Italian army is ordered to the Austrian border. The troops on the Eastern Border are placed on high alert. Construction on the Eastern Defense Network, commonly known as "Mussoliniís wall" continues. Except for a few critical areas the Lateral Defense System is largely underdeveloped. Minefields are however present in all areas.
February 25th 1945
Repairs on the Falco are completed and it will restart flight training within the week at the new slower pace.
March 7th 1945
American troops cross the Rhine into Germany.
March 19th 1945
Hitler orders that all the industrial capacity of Germany be destroyed. Albert Speer and other top Nazis work to circumvent this order.
Italian aircraft drop leaflets over German positions in Austria telling them not to fire on Italian troops and by presenting those leaflets to Italian soldiers they will be given safe passage to the rear and will be taken care of.
March 20th 1945
Mussolini authorizes the invasion of Austria. Six divisions of the Regular Army and six divisions of Blackshirts cross into Austria. Many Germans surrender to the Italians seeing them as the best option.
Mussolini releases a press statement to the world informing them that this is not an act of aggression but merely an attempt to protect Italian interests and to prevent the war from crossing into the Italian Alps. Furthermore, the New Roman Empire will withdraw all its troops once the war is over and allow the Allies to occupy the held territories. It ends with "Rome has no interest to expand."
A now completely delusional and insane Hitler sees this as the final and greatest betrayal from Mussolini, thinking that he has come to conquer the Reich. Hitler orders one of his "armies," now purely imaginary and in his head, to enact the plan to invade and conquer Italy.
Other Nazi figures see this event in a much more positive light and begin making plans to escape south to the Italian lines.
The Allies are taken aback by the Italian actions and there is much disagreement on how to respond. For now, they agree to let the Italians do as they please as long as they do not take too big of a piece of Austria or interfere with Allied plans.
March 21st 1945
Italian troops arrive in some of the satellite camps of Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp. The SS guards who havenít fled approach the Italians with the "safe passage" leaflets visible. Disgusted by the display of barbarity, the leaflets are ignored and the guards are arrested, in other cases commanders order the SS guards to be executed on the spot.
The Fascist propaganda machine goes into overdrive broadcasting the liberation of the camps by Italian forces. Photographs and videos of Blackshirts and soldiers helping the victims of the camps are ordered to be published immediately and sent worldwide.
March 22nd 1945
Bergan, Norway is liberated by the Allies.
March 23rd 1945
With most supply routes out of Norway cut off, Sweden ceases trade with Germany.
March 25th 1945
SS members, Gestapo agents and high-ranking Nazis flee southwards toward the Italian lines trying to stay ahead of the Allies and Soviets. They are joined on the roads by thousands of deserting soldiers and fleeing civilians.
March 26th 1945
The Italian advance reaches Innsbruck and Graz before a halt is ordered.
March 28th 1945
American forces enter into western Austria.
April 3rd 1945
A firefight breaks out between American and Italian forces around Innsbruck. Luckily, no one was hurt from the exchange. It is believed that the Americans opened fire first, mistaking the Italians for German soldiers.
Count Ciano apologizes profusely to the American Ambassador to Rome saying it was an isolated incident and he would make sure it does not happen again.
End of Part 13.
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