Italy 1936 - An alternate Italian history of World War II
April 4th 1945
Italy pulls the Blackshirts from front-line duty in Austria to prevent another incident where they are mistaken for members of the SS. Front-line check points will be regulated by the regular army with only a handful of Blackshirt officials to aid in registration and relocation. The vast majority of Blackshirts will man the secondary checkpoints and refugee camps in Italy.
April 10th 1945
Thousands of Germans swarm the Italian checkpoints. The Allies try to pick out members of the Nazi party from the crowd before they can be taken into Italian custody, but the more crafty ones disguise themselves as civilians.
As they pass through the Italian lines they are catalogued as best as possible but it is hardly an efficient program. Very few of the Italians speak enough German to communicate and the soldiers are usually as confused and disorganized as the refugees themselves and cannot deal with the massive crowds. Checkpoint commanders struggle to keep families together and to keep soldiers separate from the civilians. Most are without any form of transportation and are forced to walk, the lucky ones(those deemed useful to Italy) are given rides in carriages and trucks, and compassionately many women and children are put on the trucks. The most important of people are given rides in staff cars. Of course, bribery for better transportation is rampant throughout.
April 12th 1945
Franklin Roosevelt dies of a cerebral hemorrhage. Vice President Harry Truman is sworn in as President.
April 14th 1945
The Re. 2007 completes its first successful test flight. Mussolini orders the construction of the first squadron of jets by yearís end.
April 16th 1945
The Battle for Berlin begins when two Soviet pincers strike the city.
Nazi radio broadcasts the death of SS chief Heinrich Himmler, it is said he is killed while trying to personally direct the defense of the city. In actuality, he is quite alive and passing through Austria disguised as a German soldier and has shaved off his signature mustache.
April 20th 1945
A small unassuming man dressed as a soldier, shivering from fear reaches the checkpoint. An Italian soldier in broken German which he only learned in the past weeks asks him for his name and unit. He responds in German with "I need to speak with an officer!"
The solider not understanding asks again for his name and unit. The man repeats his statement, and the soldier still confused repeats his question. The German becomes irate and starts shouting, before pointing to a Blackshirt in the rear and yelling "Fascist!" Trying to keep the line moving another soldier approaches and pulls the man to the side where he keeps yelling something about "Fascist," and "Officer." Thinking of the only thing possible to calm the man down, he is taken to the Blackshirt officer. Upon approaching the Blackshirt the man declares, in a low but firm voice. "I am Reichsfuhrer SS Heinrich Himmler."
The officer having a basic understanding of German appraised the man, he had a vague resemblance to Himmler but he did not believe this was him, after all, wasnít he killed in Berlin? He was under orders to treat all suspected Nazi party officials with the highest priority, and did not want to get in trouble, he summons a car immediately and sends the supposed "SS Chief" to a command center in the rear, let them deal with him.
April 25th 1945
A conference for the founding of the United Nations begins in San Francisco.
Russian and American forces meet at the Elbe.
April 26th 1945
Germany wins a battle at Bautzen successfully retaking the city.
April 30th 1945
Hitler marries his long time mistress Eva Braun, writes his last will and testament which places all the blame for the war on the shoulders of others. Fearing that he will be shot and put on display like what the Italians did to Filov, Hitler chooses to take his own life. He shoots himself while biting down on a cyanide capsule. Eva Braun kills herself with a cyanide capsule.
Their bodies are taken out into the courtyard and burned with what little gasoline is left.
Karl Donitz is named President of the Reich.
May 1st 1945
Mussolini is informed of Hitlerís death. An aide would state he just shrugged and continued on as if it meant nothing. And to Mussolini, it did mean nothing, it just proved that Hitler was a poor imitator of Il Duce, one who could not lead his nation to greatness and its place under the sun.
Joseph Goebbels and his wife commit suicide by cyanide after first poisoning their children.
May 2nd 1945
The last group of Nazis to remain in the Fuhrerbunker try to escape from the city. Martin Bormann, Hitlerís personal secretary is one of them. The group gets separated in the course of the escape, leading some to believe that Bormann was killed.
The Soviet Union announces the fall of Berlin.
May 3rd 1945
Wernher Von Braun and his rocketry team surrenders to the Americans.
May 5th 1945
President Donitz orders all U-boats to cease operations and return to port.
One U-boat captain and his officers not wanting to stand the humiliation of surrendering the boat to the Allies sets course for Italy.
May 7th 1945
General Jodl signs unconditional surrender documents which will take effect the next day.
May 8th 1945
V-E Day. The war in Europe is over.
Italy announces that it will start withdrawing troops on May 15th and will be completely out the area by May 20th.
May 10th 1945
Martin Bormann reaches an Italian checkpoint and is processed into the system under an assumed name by Fascist officials.
May 15th 1945
The Italians withdraw to their secondary positions and Americans take over the front checkpoints, some Germans manage to slip through and reach the withdrawing Italian lines.
May 17th 1945
A German U-boat surfaces in the bay of Naples and broadcasts its surrender to Italian authorities.
May 25th 1945
Italy completely withdraws from Austria. In the end, nearly 200 thousand Germans have sought refuge in Italy. They are divided into two groups, military and civilian. The civilians are put up in hastily constructed border towns. Soldiers including SS are placed in P.O.W. camps.
Scientists, engineers and technicians who arrived in Italy are moved further south and immediately put to work on redesigning German equipment for Italian use.
Prominent Nazis are given new identities and moved to a Sardinian villa to lay low until the hunt for them is over.
*Note: In this timeline most Nazis who do escape, escape through Italy. Not all will stay and a lot use Italy as a stop to get to South America. The close proximity also allows more Nazis to escape so most who made reasonable attempts in OTL will have gotten to Italy. To name a few, Italy is currently housing, Heinrich Himmler, Martin Bormann, Adolf Eichmann, Otto Skorzeny and Hans Ulrich Rudel.
Nazis who historically made deals with the Allies, have done so also in this timeline, so Klaus Barbie will be working with the Americans.
Most German scientists who are not ideological Nazis will have surrendered to the Allies.*
May 27th 1945
An antiquities commission is formed by Mussolini to review the works and valuables brought over by fleeing Nazis and to decide what will be returned to the Allies and what will be kept by Italy.
U-3530, the U-boat which surfaced in the bay of Naples is placed in dry dock to be studied. The Navy wants to make a full copy of the vesselís design and construction for an Italian version and also get the boat converted for Italian use as soon as possible for research purposes.
May 28th 1945
Eight of the twelve divisions used in Austria are redeployed Mussoliniís Wall as a ward against Soviet attack.
Stalin toys with the idea of invading the Italian controlled Balkans but it appears that Mussolini has prepared for such an event. Stalin also does not want to jeopardize his holdings in Eastern Europe, the western Allies might view an unprovoked war with Italy, disfavorably and be more heavy handed with the Soviets at the upcoming Potsdam convention. He is confident Mussolini will provide him with a reason for war in the future.
The French government starts posturing for a return of the land sold by Vichy to Italy. Britain and the United States advise the French government to wait until the situation in Europe is more stable.
On June 26th, the United Nations charter is signed by the Allied nations, it just needs to be ratified by the member nations.
July 5th 1945
The 1945 General Election in England begins. It is the first election in ten years. Voting will take place over the next seven days.
July 17th 1945
The Potsdam Conference is held to decide on the fate of Postwar Germany. The attendees are Truman, Stalin and Churchill.
July 26th 1945
After a resounding defeat in the elections Winston Churchill resigns as Prime Minister. Clement Attlee replaces him both as Prime Minister and representative at Potsdam.
August 2nd 1945
The Potsdam conference comes to an end. The Allies agree upon the following terms:
1. The disarmament, democratization and elimination of Nazi influence of Germany.
2. The agreement to prosecute Nazi war criminals
3. The border realignment of Germany, resulting in the loss of most of Eastern Germany.
4. The expulsion of German populations in the East.
5. German payment of war reparations to the Soviet Union.
6. The destruction of German industry that is capable of war production.
No agreement can be reached concerning the matter on what is to be done to Italy. Stalin pushed for immediate action, but Attlee and Truman both opposed the suggestion. They did agree that the possibility of economic sanctions was a very likely possibility and should be pursued through the United Nations.
August 6th 1945
"Little boy" an atomic bomb is detonated over the Japanese city of Hiroshima
August 7th 1945
President Truman announces the successful atomic bombing of Hiroshima from aboard the USS Augusta.
The atomic detonation deals a shock to Italy and its faltering program. It proves that the construction of a bomb is indeed a possibility. Mussolini orders that funding for 1946 be increased and that the power needs for the enrichment of uranium be met.
August 8th 1945
The Soviet Union declares war on the Empire of Japan.
August 9th 1945
A second atomic bomb "Fat man" is dropped on the city of Nagasaki.
August 15th 1945
Emperor Hirohito announces the surrender of Japan over the radio.
End of Part 14.
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