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Italy 1936 - An alternate Italian history of World War II

Part 24


Vincent Longobardi




November 8th 1952

Libyan Desert

6:00:10 AM Local Time

His palm slammed down on the detonator for what seemed like the hundredth time in those brief seconds and unexpectedly a second later a bright flash filled the sky and the telltale mushroom cloud. Italy had become a nuclear power...barely.

Congratulations were said to the team and the news was quickly dispatched worldwide to every major news agency and government. There was no need to inform anyone outside the room besides Mussolini of the slight technical issues which occurred and for all purposes the official detonation is listed at exactly 6:00 AM.

November 9th 1952

Thousands of Parisians flee the city of lights as fear of a nuclear attack increases exponentially overnight. The official French response is that the Italian government is bluffing and no detonation has taken place, the war will continue and reclamation of French land is a guarantee.

The United States and Britain place their militaries on high alert not sharing France’s same optimism.

The Project Jupiter team is tasked with discerning what exactly went wrong with the test which could have either been a problem with the bomb or the remote detonator used.

The next Italian nuclear bomb will be ready within six months followed by a plutonium bomb within the year. Bomb construction will then be switched completely over to the plutonium model to allow for the uranium to be used in reactors only.

November 10th 1952

Any illusions that Italy has not detonated a bomb are shattered when the photos and video of the test are released worldwide. NATO calls an emergency meeting at its Headquarters in Brussels.

Opposition parties in France speak out against the current government chaired by Antoine Penay a member of the National Center of Independents and Peasants for failing to adequately defend France against Italian nuclear aggression and allowing the nation to fall behind in a nuclear gap.

November 12th 1952

In Switzerland an Italian agent who has stated that he can no longer support Italy’s tyrannical government leaks to the press an internal report that the Empire has in it’s possession eight nuclear devices and the means to deliver them nearly worldwide.

November 13th 1952

While the governments of the world recognize that the so called leak report is only a ruse to incite a panic many people worldwide especially in Britain and France believe the claims no matter what their governments say. Demand for the construction of bomb shelters has increased dramatically within the past week in France.

November 14th 1952

In a public ceremony Enrico Fermi is made a count, he and the rest of the Project Jupiter team are declared heros of Rome.

Italy once again offers France a peace deal to return to the status quo. Like always it is rejected.

November 15th 1952

After months in a coma Admiral d’Argenlieu finally awakens finding himself in an Italian hospital bed. Later in the day Italy announces it officially has taken the French admiral prisoner.

November 18th 1952

The leaders of NATO meet in Brussels. The French delegate demands that the Alliance launch an immediate and devastating invasion of all Italian lands. Expecting the Allies to give their full support he is shocked when met with a generally hostile reaction to France’s proposal calling it unsound, would only serve to instigate a nuclear exchange and that the war must be ended immediately. When the French delegate informs the rest that France will continue the war regardless of NATO he is informed that France can continue the war without American or British weapons.

Realizing that there is no way for France to win the war or even maintain a hold on its colonies in North Africa without outside support France reluctantly agrees to seek a peaceful end to the conflict.

November 19th 1952

France offers Italy peace and a return to the status quo. Italy readily agrees and the Border War between France and Italy comes to an end a little over a year or just under a year since it started depending on whose story is believed.

November 20th 1952

The siege of Skikda ends as Italian troops withdraw back towards Tunisia. In Italy the end of the war is cause for celebration it has officially established the New Roman Empire as a great power as well as dealing the French a crushing defeat.

There is no way for France to sugarcoat their position at the end of the war, their navy was defeated, their army pushed back and their allies forced them to settle. The current government is weak and amongst talk of building a larger stronger French military and its own atomic program talk also circulates of new elections and a change of power.

November 23rd 1952

President-elect Eisenhower delivers a speech against the current presidency for its treatment of Italy. Calling that the complete diplomatic isolation which has been imposed on Italy has forced her to continue expanding her military, foster the production of nuclear arms and firmly establish the Italian Empire as an enemy of America. He promises that while not removing all restrictions upon his taking of office he will reinstate the post of Ambassador to the Kingdom of Italy to prevent any future conflicts that could of been solved through diplomacy.

November 30th 1952

Army Group Africa is dismantled and returned home. The only forces remaining in Tunisia are the original guard divisions and Blackshirts still suppressing TLO operations. While the TLO has been significantly weakened bombings and attacks still occur sporadically but since the war with France and French support for the TLO has ended more time and resources are to be devoted to the complete dismantling of this terrorist organization.

December 2nd 1952

The P. 40 tank is officially reclassified as a light tank and the P. 46 becomes the main battle tank of the Italian Army and will completely replace the P. 40 in armored divisions. The P. 40 will remain in limited production, with new and current models being deployed to Infantry divisions and Colonial divisions as well as being sold to Lira Block nations.

The P. 46 has managed to stand up to anything the west has to offer and presumably the Soviets also. Since this will not always be so, a design team has been fielded to produce a replacement by the late 50's.

In other news, Mussolini has ordered that the production of three more carriers of the Imperator class following the success of naval aircraft in the war with France and to keep force parity with the French navy.

December 15th 1952

In a move that was delayed because of the war the Royal Army, Air Force and Navy of the New Roman Empire are officially reorganized as the Imperial Army, Imperial Air Force and Imperial Navy.

December 20th 1952

Project Jupiter reports their official findings on the testing malfunction to Mussolini. After performing tests with conventional bombs using the same detonation mechanism as well as air-drop tests is appears that the triggering mechanism within the bomb itself was faulty and was not deploying properly. The problem has since been corrected and the Empire’s first operational bomb will be ready and fault-free.

December 21st 1952

Enrico Fermi submits his resignation from Project Jupiter to Mussolini. He asks to be officially removed from the project immediately as he has accomplished his task and wishes to begin research in other fields of nuclear physics. Since the projects inception it has grown vastly from a small team of a just over two dozen to a group of well over 100 and no longer needs him as a guiding force.

December 22nd 1952

Mussolini accepts Fermi’s resignation and seeks to replace him with a more fascist leaning team leader.

January 3rd 1953

Construction begins on Italy’s second nuclear reactor deep within the Alps.

January 25th 1953

Ellsworth Bunker is named the American Ambassador in a move designed to open diplomatic dialogue with Mussolini.

February 4th 1953

After years of offers Otto Skorzeny agrees to become a military advisor for the Empire and its allies

February 20th 1953

Searching for asylum Mau Mau rebels are captured as they attempt to cross into Italian East Africa.

February 21st 1953

Count Ciano announces that the captured Kenyans will be handed over to British authorities by weeks end. "The New Roman Empire will not support or tolerate anti-colonial rebellions in Africa against any nation."

March 1st 1953

Joseph Stalin collapses at a party after suffering a massive stroke paralyzing the right side of his body.

March 5th 1953

Stalin is dead at the age of 76. Upon the news of the tyrants death street celebrations break out in the Italian border towns inhabited by Eastern European exiles. Even outside of these displaced peoples the mood is one of celebration throughout the Empire. To Mussolini, the Comando Supremo boasts that should the nations of Romania and Hungary revolt against Soviet rule, that the Imperial Army will be able to occupy them before the Soviet government can stabilize and respond.

March 14th 1953

The revolts of Eastern Europe never come and power in the Soviet Union is passed peacefully to Nikita Kruschev.

March 25th 1953

Despite protests from Eastern European groups and elements within congress President Eisenhower has approved the lowering of travel and communication restrictions against Italy. Trade restrictions are still in place and will still be in place for the foreseeable future.

April 1953

Time Magazine announces a six month serial publications of articles as a journalist travels throughout the "New Roman Empire" reporting on the state of the Fascist Empire.

End of Part 24.


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