Italy 1936 - An alternate Italian history of World War II
July 16th 1952
Dropping their weapons and equipment French colonial troops flee across the border into Algeria with the Italians nipping at their heels. The French troops who were ordered to be redeployed back to the continent are turned around and ordered back to the front.
July 18th 1952
French troops pass the fleeing colonial troops who refused to heed the orders to hold their ground. In a complete rout, these Arab and African troops clog the road system and stress the security of rear areas as attempts are made to round them up and reorganize them.
July 19th 1952
Army Group Africa clashes with French troops in Algeria. The French fall back slowly and the Italians advance cautiously keeping losses to a minimal. Neither side wants to repeat the rapid attack and counterattacks prominent in the early days of the war.
July 20th 1952
The Free Officers in Egypt approach their Italian advisors asking for assistance in overthrowing King Farouk of Egypt. They claim that Farouk is planning to betray Italy and allow the British to march through to take Libya, not an entirely true claim. The Italian government does view this as positive step to bringing Egypt closer to the New Roman Empire and the first step to making them a client state and agree to offering the King a place in exile.
July 23rd 1952
The Egyptian Army commences a coup against the King. In the rush to grab government buildings, Italian blackshirts can be seen coordinating with the Egyptians. King Farouk currently unaware of the Italian involvement in the coup seeks intervention from the west and Italy.
The Italian consul in Alexandria offers Farouk safe haven and immunity from rebel aggression. Accepting the offer, Farouk is picked up by an Italian staff car and rushed to the consulate given a tightly guarded and tightly regulated residence.
July 25th 1952
The revolution in Egypt is nearly complete. Only receiving certain pieces of Italian news, King Farouk knows that city after city has fallen under the sway of the Free Officers but is still blind to Italian involvement. Asking for the support of the Italian Army, Farouk is informed that the Roman Empire can only protect him and can not fight a war for him he is advised to enter into voluntary exile in Italy.
July 26th 1952
Farouk abdicates his throne and accepts self-imposed exile in Italy. In his last day on Egyptian soil, he says his farewells to members of his government and even members of the Free Officers. He boards his Yacht and sets sail for Capri to join the rest of the exiled former monarchs in Italy.
July 27th 1952
In Algeria, the Italian front narrows to provide a harder punch against slowly withdrawing French forces. Skikda is once again in Italian sights and the possibility of its capture greater.
July 28th 1952
The Roman Empire and the new Egyptian government reach an agreement selling most of King Farouk’s possessions to Italy. Mussolini, and the Grand Council of Fascists see it as a way to keep both sides happy, Egypt gets desperately needed money, Farouk gets his possessions back and should there ever need to be another change of government in Egypt, Farouk can step in with a debt owed to Italy.
August 2nd 1952
A massive bombing campaign is launched against Skikda. Nearly the entire Strategic Bombing corp. of the Italian air force is used with over 150 heavy bombers deployed as well as 300 tactical bombers and dozens of long range rockets pound the city.
August 4th 1952
The French government begs Britain and America for immediate intervention against Italy. Britain once again states that by late November, early December they will be able to help. The United States offers the same sentiments and beyond loaned equipment, France can not expect much until after the election and British involvement.
Quietly, some government officials are stating that France brought this war upon herself and though Italy can not be allowed to expand it’s empire, France should not just be handed a victory.
August 10th 1952
In the continued Romanization of Italy, dozens of government institutions names are officially changed from Royal to Imperial. This follows a continued trend of organizations, businesses and places trying to capitalize on the resurgence of Roman ideas.
August 15th 1952
Rationing is started in France as the economy is forced to gear over to a full time war economy.
August 20th 1952
The French Army forms a protective picket 20 miles around Skikda as the Italians swoop around the picket preparing to lay siege. Thus begins the Siege of Skikda.
August 25th 1952
The first American lend-lease ships arrive in France. The remains of the French navy and newly conscripted men begin training on the ships along the Atlantic coast.
August 28th 1952
A squadron of Italian submarines initiates a blockade of Skikda. Surface ships are not initially deployed to tempt the French to continue supplying the pocket by sea.
August 30th 1952
A French merchant ship is sunk by an Italian sub as it attempts to enter the harbor of Skikda.
September 5th 1952
After losing 3 more ships from the submarine blockade, France orders all their merchant ships to take evasive actions when entering Skikda harbor and to only attempt the run at night to limit the submarines chance of success.
The French government is also in talks with the British to have their cargo ships bring the supplies.
September 10th 1952
The French merchant fleet continues to get battered as it attempts to dock in Skikda but the arrival of British merchant ships brings the besieged city much needed supplies and untouchable targets for the Italians.
September 12th 1952
The arrival of the British supply vessels prompts the Italians to change their plans concerning the surface fleet. Originally intended to join the blockade around Skikda, the surface fleet is now redeployed to serve as a guard against British military attacks.
September 18th 1952
Britain and the United States confirm that by December 15th they will enter the war against Italy providing France officially declares war before that time.
September 20th 1952
The siege of Skikda continues with no side taking any action at this time. The French army prepares to slowly withdraw to France aboard British ships to prepare for the eventual European war with Italy.
France will declare war by December 1st.
September 26th 1952
A Turkish patrol boat anchors itself dangerously close to Italian waters attempting to provoke an Italian response and cause for Turkey entering into the war. After eight hours of being ignored the Turkish boat returns to dock.
October 15th 1952
Probing attacks along the Skikda line find the French defense to be largely depleted. Believing that the blockade is taking its toll on the defenders Army Group Africa begins a slow advance to tighten the noose around the city.
October 20th 1952
Britain declares martial law in Kenya as a response to the Mau Mau revolt.
October 22nd 1952
Italian troops occupy French fortifications ten miles outside of the city, bringing artillery into range they conduct a low intensity but constant bombardment of the city.
October 28th 1952
France’s first lend-lease ships to enter into active service make a run through Gibraltar towards Marseilles. Surrounded by a British escort they are deemed too risky of a target by the Comando Supremo.
November 1st 1952
The United States detonates the world’s first Hydrogen bomb in the Atolls.
November 4th 1952
Enrico Fermi pleads with Benito Mussolini to be allowed 4 more months for the nuclear test so the proper amount of Uranium can be enriched for a truly impressive bomb on the scale of the one detonated at Hiroshima can be tested. Mussolini refuses to delay the test, he wants the bomb now and needs something to hold over the British. The atomic test will go ahead on November 8th 1952 with an extremely small bomb(about half the power of Little Boy.)
November 8th 1952
5:55 AM Local Time
Technicians and scientists ran through the final preparations and checks for the culmination of twelve years of work. Assembled with the Project Jupiter team were representatives from all branches of the service, each was scheming how to use this test to gain additional funding, the Air Force was secure for now they already had the men and machines to deliver the bombs but a few more squadrons couldn’t hurt, the navy might be able to deploy them using submarines into enemy harbors, the army could miniaturize it and fire it out of large caliber artillery. Representing the Grand Council was Count Ciano who had already penned a press release to announce Rome’s first successful nuclear test. With him were photographers and reporters from his propaganda office.
The announcement came through that the last unit has left the blast zone and the countdown can begin.
5:59:50 AM Local Time
Dozens of men peered out of the bunker window miles away from the tower mounted bomb. The countdown had begun, 10 seconds until Italy became a true force to be reckoned with.
Men checked their goggles to make sure they were on right...
Others fidgeted wondering if they were truly safe...
Enrico Fermi paced nervously across the room going over the calculations in his head...
Radio and telegraph operators waited to transmit the success of the test worldwide.
The photographers raised their cameras to record the event into history.
The man given the honor of detonating the bomb finger hovers over the button.
"Detonate," orders Fermi. The button is pressed...everyone holds their breath and nothing happens.. "Detonate," the call comes again. The operator presses the button again, this time harder. Still nothing. What has gone wrong? Sweating profusely the operator starts pounding on the detonator repeatedly as the others present begin looking around, some angry, other frightened and still others just confused...
End of Part 23.
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