Italy 1936 - An alternate Italian history of World War II
August 4th 1958
The first production run for the R-2 Diane Ballistic missiles begins. The Comando Supremo has ordered 60 missiles of which 40 will be fitted with a nuclear warhead.
The current plans for the Italian nuclear arsenal is to be 100 weapons, 60 free fall bombs and 40 missiles. The R-2 Diane missiles will be set up on mobile train and truck launchers throughout the Empire and will be kept in near constant motion to hamper French and British efforts to target them.
August 23rd 1958
The Second Taiwan Strait crisis begins when Red Chinese forces begin bombardment of the island.
August 30th 1958
The New Roman Empire gives its full support to the Republic of China(Taiwan) and offers the sale of Italian weapons to drive back the communist foe.
August 31st 1958
Taiwan turns down the offer of the Roman Empire believing an acceptance at this time would strip them of American support.
September 28th 1958
Over 70% of the French population votes in favor of the constitution for the Fifth Republic.
October 2nd 1958
Guinea is allowed to declare its independence from France.
October 9th 1958
Pope Pius XII passes away.
October 28th 1958
The Roman Catholic Church has a new Pope. Angelo Cardinal Roncalli is elected Pope and takes on the name John XXIII.
It is believed that Cardinal Roncalli was not the front runner for Holy See instead it is suggested that Giuseppi Cardinal Siri was the original front runner but a resistance led by French Cardinals threatened to schism from the Church should Cardinal Siri be elected for his apparent support of Mussolini’s regime and his strong anti-communist leanings.
A great concern for the conclave is the tradition of electing an Italian Pope. More and more young Italian Priests have started to openly express an admiration for Fascism and Mussolini and in coming years it may no longer be possible to elect an Italian without causing a schism.
November 10th 1958
The first Diane missiles entire into service.
November 25th 1958
Viceroy Medici issues his report on the state of Greece. An excerpt from the report: "The Greek people will never be pacified, their entire history has been devoted to resisting invaders and conquerors...
They can be subdued and kept under control as long they are accustomed to defeat and supplied with luxuries."
November 28th 1958
Chad, the Republic of the Congo and Gabon are given greater freedoms and autonomous rule by France but remain part of the Union to protect them against Fascist aggression.
November 30th 1958
Gaullists take the majority in French parliamentary elections.
Over the course of December, Liechtenstein, Sweden, Norway, Luxembourg, Finland and Mexico all officially recognize the New Roman Empire. Each nations reasoning is worded differently but it all comes down to the embargo and sanctions against Rome have failed and the Empire is now a permanent piece of the world’s landscape.
January 6th 1959
Fidel Castro arrives in Havana.
January 7th 1959
The United States recognizes the government of Castro.
January 8th 1959
Charles de Gaulle is inaugurated as President of the Fifth Republic.
Following on the heels of the American recognition of Castro’s government, Rome declares it recognizes the new government.
*Note: The New Roman Empire does not really have an official stance on Cuba. It is far too removed from the Roman sphere of influence to be of any concern but the Empire is trying to align itself more closely with the U.S. as another push for official recognition is coming up.*
January 12th 1959
Legislation is introduced into Congress to reestablish trade with Italy, a second bill is also introduced to officially recognize the Italian Empire’s new name.
January 18th 1959
France creates the "Ten Minute Warning System" to alert its citizens of an Italian nuclear missile attack.
Ten minutes is a rather arbitrary number and denotes the amount of warning time for the city of Paris. Many areas of France would have considerably less time with some portions of the south east having virtually no warning. In fact, the sudden almost random loss of communication and destruction of those areas would serve as an early alert.
February 10th 1959
The United States Congress votes in favor of restoring trade relations with the Italian Empire. The bill recognizing the new name of the Empire has still not been voted into law.
The Empire initiates a "Guns for Vespas"program in Greece allowing the Greeks to exchange their weapons for a Vespa to improve their lives. While the program seems to have progressive motives it is really being used to identify those who may harbor rebellious sentiments.
April 1st 1959
The Iraqi Ba’th conduct a coup against the government of Qassim. Italian jets streak over Baghdad supporting the advacing Ba’thist military units and armed thugs.
April 3rd 1959
After three days of violence, the Ba’th Party manages to take control of the Iraqi government. Abdul Salam Arif is made President of Iraq and in one of his first acts he announces Iraq’s reentry into the Lira Block.
May 10th 1959
Israel announces that is a now a nuclear power after a Israeli bomb was detonated underground near the Egyptian border.
*Note: In this timeline, Israel officially declares itself as a nuclear power as opposed to making no public statement about their nuclear program. This is primarily because the New Roman Empire is an official enemy of Israel and the Empire has nuclear weapons.*
The United Kingdom begins formulating it’s policy on granting independence to colonies. "No Independence With Italian Neighbors" or NIWIN prevents any colony that borders any portion of the Italian Empire from gaining full independence.
The financial burdens of running the Royal Navy become too great of a cost for Britain to bear. With war debts still from World War II, no recent threats from Italy and a belief that any war with the Italians will just be a nuclear exchange with all of England’s positions in the Mediterranean destroyed within the first minutes or hours of a war. Against the wishes of the Admiralty, bean counters and armchair button pusher strategist win the day in the battle for the budget calling for the Royal Navy to be downsized and converted into a fast attack force designed more for the delivery of nuclear weapons. As one supporter of the cuts put it, "Let the Italians have their massive battle fleets we’ll destroy them with one missile."
*Note: The downsizing of the Royal Navy is long overdue. Historically, it was done right after World War II to help alleviate British war debts. With the Italian threat the Navy remained close to World War II levels throughout the 50's. Britain can’t continue to support a navy this large anymore. It is also following a historical route where British planners believes that any future naval war will be decided with nuclear weapons and that a large fleet would be useless instead a small fleet consisting primarily of Submarines and other fast attack craft would be the order of the day.
Research and development is completed on the next Italian battle tank. The P.60 tank is a heavy tank in the tradition of the P.46. It features a heavy 115mm cannon and heavy armor designed to counter anything the Soviets or Americans field. It will enter into official production in 1960 and is designed to replace the P.46 as the Empire’s main battle tank with the P.46 taking on the current role of the P.40
The remaining P.40's in service will all be taken out of active service being sold as scrap, sold to foreign nations, given to colonial armies, assigned to police units or given to movie studios and museums.
September 7th 1959
After months of debate, the United States Congress passes the bill recognizing the name New Roman Empire. It passed by only two votes in the Senate.
October 10th 1959
The Imperial Navy begins development on nuclear propelled ships. They are hoping to have a nuclear powered submarine in service by 1962-1963.
After being slighted by President Eisenhower who refused to meet with a visiting Castro has prompted the Cuban leader to send diplomatic teams to both the Soviet Union and the New Roman Empire. Some of Castro’s advisors are strongly in favor of closer ties with Rome citing that the Empire is less likely to abuse the relation having less global projection and less interest in the Caribbean. Oddly enough this is the same claim the opposition brings up, claiming that the Empire lacks the power to protect Cuba from any future American aggression. For now they will let the diplomats decide and to see which side gives the better deal.
January 3rd 1960
The serenity of the previous year is shattered when the Jupiter team detonates the Empire’s first hydrogen bomb in Libya.
January 12th 1960
While touring Count Enrico Fermi’s Center for Nuclear Physics, Mussolini complains to his retinue of dizziness and a headache but insists on continuing the tour and giving a speech in honor of the scientists who have propelled the Empire into the next level of nuclear power.
Moments before he is set to give his speech, Il Duce loses his balance and falls to the ground. As Mussolini stutters that is he fine, his guards and advisors disagree, picking him up they forgo the speech and rush the dictator who appears to be losing consciousness to the hospital...
End of Part 32.
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