Italy 1936 - An alternate Italian history of World War II
December 4th 1951
Stock Markets crash worldwide as the prospect of another massive war makes investors fearful of investment.
December 5th 1951
Great Britain offers her full moral support to the French and that though Britain will not become directly involved in the conflict at this time and will remain neutral unless France asks for aid.
*Note: There are two primary reasons for Britain not getting involved in the conflict.
1. Rationing in Britain has only just recently ended and the British are now getting accustomed to a peace time economy and would not tolerate another war and a return to rationing.
2. Though he hates Mussolini, Churchill is a staunch imperialist and believes the war will just lead to more people calling for decolonization.*
December 6th 1951
Following the British statement, the United States publishes a similar statement of aid to the French.
*Note: Like Britain, the United States has two reasons for not getting involved in the conflict:
1. The American military is focusing most of its attention in Korea at this time.
2. Top officials in the government and military still view Italy as a possible ally against Communist aggression and do not want to completely throw out any future partnerships.*
December 7th 1951
France offers its thanks to the United States and Britain but states it does not need any outside assistance at this time.
The French government knows that its best chance is to keep the conflict low intensity for as long as possible. An immediate offer of military support by the allies would of forced Italy to conduct a large scale invasion of France, an invasion the French army was not capable of holding back. However, without that Italy would be forced to fight a long term conflict where France could keep picking away at an Italy unable to strike back effectively for fear of dragging the allies in the war.
December 10th 1951
Italian forces conduct a push into Algeria advancing several miles before coming to a halt. Like the French predicted, the new Italian R.O.E. prevented any deep incursions for fear of allied intervention. Additionally, Italian forces are not allowed to attack French shipping or naval vessels unless engaged first or they are they are docked in Algerian ports.
December 15th 1951
A French counterattack is repulsed after suffering heavy casualties. Lupine bombers harass the withdrawing French forces.
December 18th 1951
Border raids have decreased dramatically since Italian troops have crossed into Algeria. Bombings are still occurring and additional troops are being brought in for anti-partisan duty including some units which earned much fame and renown for suppressing the Yugoslavian resistance.
December 19th 1951
The first air to air battle between France and Italy ends in a draw with both sides only managing to do minor damage to the other without downing any aircraft.
December 20th 1951
Italian jet fighters pounce on a squadron of French propeller aircraft downing over 75% of the planes while not losing a single plane.
The French Air Force orders that the Dassault Ouragan France’s first jet fighter be pushed into service quicker and ordered that the number of planes to be produced be increased. But until those planes can be put into service it is clear that the air above Algeria will belong to Italy.
December 26th 1951
A second attack against Italian positions in Algeria is conducted. This time France commits a sizeable portion of tanks to the operation. The first tank battle of the war goes to the Italians, while the French Shermans are an even match for the Italian P.40, the few P.46's in the field(1 for every 4 P.40) are able to decimate the thin skinned Sherman.
December 27th 1951
Rumors fly throughout France about the Italian victories and how it could be possible. One such theory is that they are not even fighting Italians but instead are fighting Nazis who escaped to Italy and are serving as mercenaries for Mussolini, after all how could an Italian fight so well and win against France?
More practically, the French command recognizes that they underestimated Italian resolve and her military. They will commit more troops to Algeria and launch another assault.
January 3rd 1952
The French conduct a massive attack against the Italians forcing them back across the desert. Italian forces attempt to consolidate themselves and offer a defense but quickly realize they are overmatched.
January 7th 1952
Five miles within Tunisia the Italians manage to tighten their lines up and put a halt to the French offensive.
The Italian Army in North Africa is heavily outnumbered by the French, over the past months while Italy was content to keep only three divisions along the border France deployed more and more troops. The Comando Supremo orders that an additional five divisions be deployed immediately to the region and the formation of the Army of Africa consisting of 80,000 men.
January 8th 1952
Congress is back in session for its first day and a massive debate breaks out over the matter of Italy. Most of the support for normalization of relations is lost. Some are even pushing for harsher restrictions and even a crackdown on possible fascist elements in the United States.
January 10th 1952
McCarthy delivers a speech before the Senate attacking the government for allowing Fascist spies to infiltrate every facet of public and private life. "While the government sleeps, Fascists have made it hollow." He calls for immediate action in eliminating the Fascist taint where ever it may be.
January 15th 1952
Tunisian resistance is forced deeper underground as Italy sets up its efforts to stomp out the rebels.
January 18th 1952
The House Committee on Un-American Activities holds a hearing on Fascist infiltrations within the United States. A great concern to the committee is that the Italian spies responsible for the theft of technical data on the Essex carriers have never been found.
February 6th 1952
King George VI passes away, his daughter Elizabeth becomes Queen in his place.
February 14th 1952
The Winter Olympics start in Oslo. The Olympics are overshadowed by a...
Large Italian Army destroys French front lines in Tunisia. Eighty thousand troops and over 500 tanks take the French by the surprise after a month of inactivity.
February 15th 1952
The first jet to jet battle of the Border War occurs when nine French fighters engage eight Italian aircraft. After a fierce ten minutes of dog fighting, the Italians experience with their aircraft wins the day downing three aircraft with the loss of one. France lost a fourth plane when the body of the aircraft snapped while in a tight turn, a common problem in the design of the Ouragen.
*Note: France’s first squadron of jet fighters were rushed into service. The pilots have had barely two months to months to learn how to operate their new aircraft before being thrust into a combat zone.*
February 20th 1952
The dug-in French army around Skikda puts an end to the Italian offensive twenty miles from the city.
February 21st 1952
The Army of Africa starts digging in to the East of Skikda. The Comando Supremo believes that applying pressure to the city will convince France to put an end to conflict and return to the status quo if not the war will need to be escalated. Mussolini would rather conquer the territory but he is forced to accept to wishes the Grand Council and the Comando Supremo.
February 23rd 1952
Count Ciano’s attempts to open negotiations with France fail miserably when France refuses to accept any conditions except the return of Tunisia as well as all the other territories illegally stripped from the French Union.
February 24th 1952
Mussolini attacks France for their lack of willingness to negotiate. He claims that the true nature of west is made apparent, that despite their talks for peace all they want is war and conquest.
The Comando Supremo begins planning for future combat operations in Africa designed to force the France to accept an end to hostilities without the situation spiraling out of control.
February 27th 1952
TLO terrorists manage to detonate a bomb in a military supply depot in Tunis killing 15 soldiers.
FBI Agents raid Italian-American social clubs in New York and Boston arresting community leaders and political activists who have expressed sympathetic views towards Mussolini. 144 people have been arrested.
March 3rd 1952
At the age of 86, Emilio De Bono one of the leaders of the March on Rome passes away from natural causes. Mussolini declares a week of mourning in memory of this great Italian and Fascist.
March 5th 1952
In the United States most of those arrested in the Fascist crackdown are released after judges find that the government has no concrete evidence linking them to any anti-American plots. Despite this release, the public lives of these men are ruined.
Five of those arrested are held on unrelated organized crime charges.
March 7th 1952
Italy conducts an eighty bomber raid against the city of Skikda. The raid consists mainly of P. 108 bombers but also included are a squadron of P. 112. The bombers cause moderate damage to the central district of the city and lose only 4 aircraft and 3 escort fighters.
March 8th 1952
Emperor Umberto II bestows posthumously the title of count on Emilio De Bono.
March 9th 1952
The rocket development team in Sardinia informs the Grand Council that research and testing is complete and that production can begin within a month.
March 10th 1952
An Italian patrol boat stops and boards a French boat trespassing into Corsican waters. Found aboard is a cache of weapons and ammunition. The crew is arrested and the boat impounded. Security around Corsica is stepped up.
March 11th 1952
Fearing that the French will try to also incite uprisings in Savoy and Nice, Blackshirts are mobilized along the border to prevent any illegal crossings.
March 12th 1952
Southern France is in a panic as French citizens awaken to find Blackshirts just across the border. Many believe it is a precursor to invasion and start fleeing from the border. The French government attempts to keep the populace calm but also fears Italy is preparing for something much larger. The army is ordered to be mobilized along the border and throughout southern France.
End of Part 20.
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