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Italy 1936 - An alternate Italian history of World War II

Part 35

By

Vincent Longobardi

 

 

June 8th 1960

Medici is recalled from his post as Viceroy following his appointment as Minister of Industry.

The new Viceroy of Greece is Prince Amedeo, Duke of Aosta who had previously served as Viceroy of Italian East Africa.. The post was originally supposed to be given to General Amedeo Guillet but it was decided at the last minute he would be a poor choice as he was in command of divisions suppressing the Greek uprisings. Instead, General Guillet is named Viceroy of Italian East Africa taking up the Dukeís former post.

June 10th 1960

Meidici is officially sworn in as Minister of Industry and announces his plans for the Empire. While the economy of the Empire is strong and there is a strong industrial base, but the nation is lacking in technological development. "The United States has over a thousand supercomputers, while the Empire has less than 200. If we are to survive as a world power, we will need to close this gap and become a technological stronghold."

June 15th 1960

Cuba sends officers and soldiers to Italy to take part in advanced training exercises.

June 30th 1960

The Belgian Congo declares its independence. Belgium was forced to give up the colony as the government realized it could not afford to get into a long protracted war like the Algerian War which France is currently embroiled in. Nor could they politically implement the measures the same measures as the Italians in putting down revolts.

July 1st 1960

The United Kingdom grants independence to Ghana in accordance with the NIWIN policy.

July 10th 1960

Medici launches a very publicized visit to the United States to meet with executives at IBM to secure the purchase of a large number of supercomputers which can be used for multiple purposes.

July 20th 1960

Medici returns to Italy following a successful trip to the United States. He has secured the purchase of 40 IBM supercomputers of the 700/7000 series for various universities and organizations within the Empire. An additional 10 were also purchased, but instead of being used for their intended purpose they will be reverse engineered to allow the Empire to create locally made knock-offs in large numbers.

July 24th 1960

Medici issues a challenge to anyone in the Empire to design and build a easily mass produced supercomputer that is not reliant on any foreign parts or technology. A 5 million Lira reward is to be given to the winner of this contest.

July 27th 1960

The Organization for Economic Co-operation is formed with 17 members making up most of western Europe and the United States and Canada. Lira Block nations are excluded from joining.

August 5th 1960

Burkino Faso declares its independence from France.

August 7th 1960

The Ivory Coast declares its independence from France.

August 13th 1960

The Central African Republic is granted independence from France.

August 15th 1960

Following the trend of independence, Congo-Brazzaville declares independence.

*Note: These are all historical declarations of independence as France is extremely preoccupied with Algeria in the North. The only nation not to be granted independence is Chad as it borders Italian Libya.*

August 16th 1960

Cyprus is granted independence by Britain. To the protests of Turkey the large Greek majority is given most of the power, where the Turkish favored a division of power by allowing two separate elections. In exchange the Cypriot government grants many concessions to Britain allowing them access to military bases across the country. They also must sign a guarantee(largely ceremonial,) promising not to join the Lira Block, or unite with the Greek mainland while it is still ruled by the Hellenic Council, or itís head of state remains the King of Italy(Britain still does not recognize the Emperor,) or while mainland Greece is a member of the Lira Block.

*Note: The population of Cyprus is much more heavily slanted towards the Greeks in this timeline because of the refugee situation. Instead of occupying only about 60% of the population, the Greeks take up over 85%.*

August 17th 1960

The New Roman Empire refuses to recognize the nation of Cyprus and calls the nation a rebellious province on the grounds they do not recognize Emperor Umberto II as sovereign over all Greeks.

Greece also does not recognize Cyprus claiming that the island is part of Greece.

August 20th 1960

The Lira Block as a whole rejects the nation of Cyprus calling it a false state.

September 3rd 1960

Trying to regain lost prestige from the botched attempt on Adolf Eichmann, Mossad agents successfully kidnap Franz Stangl, former Commandant of Treblinka death camp. Stangl who escaped to Italy following the war resided in a German-town along the border for nearly ten years before moving on to Brazil, where he was captured.

October 5th 1960

White South Africans vote to make the nation a Republic.

October 10th 1960

Except for the small minority of Turkish delegates opposing, the Cypriot House of Representatives votes to declare the nation of Cyprus as the true and free Greek state of the world and condemns the government of mainland Greece as a pathetic puppet state held together by the terrorism of the Blackshirts.

November 8th 1960

In the narrowest election U.S. Presidential election to date, John Kennedy wins by only 90,000 votes. Kennedy will become the 35th President of the United States and the first Catholic to be President.

*Note: This is a much smaller margin than what was won historically. There is more resentment against Catholics in the United States, blaming them for Fascism.*

November 10th 1960

Controversy surrounds the election as accusations of vote fraud emerges in Texas and Illinois. Nixon is encouraged to demand a recount in those critical states but refuses believing it would cause a constitutional crisis.

November 12th 1960

President-elect Kennedy announces he will take a hardline stance against Cuba and the spread of Fascism. He will not tolerate the expansion of the Lira Block or Romeís bullying of smaller nations.

November 13th 1960

Count Ciano releases a statement stating that the newly elected President should not concern himself with wrongfully attacking the Empire but instead concentrate on the illegal and amoral practices and actions of his own family.

December 9th 1960

President De Gaulle visits Algeria to assess the situation in the country. There are large scale riots in response, resulting in over 100 deaths.

December 19th 1960

Fires aboard the under construction USS Constellation kill 50 dock workers. The news media initially reports that the explosion and subsequent flames were the work of Italian agents, but it is later learned that the fires were the result of an accident.

January 22nd 1961

As one of his first acts, President Kennedy declares an embargo on Cuba and cuts all relations with the nation.

January 23rd 1961

Cuba responds to the embargo by seizing the property and businesses of Americans and either nationalizing them or granting them to Cuban citizens.

January 25th 1961

Meeting with his advisors on the Cuban situation Kennedy is informed of a plan developed by the Eisenhower administration to conduct an invasion of Cuba by Cuban exiles should it fall to communism. The plan had been largely abandoned when the island became a Lira Block nation but the exiles had completed their training just in case another revolution sprung up. Kennedy orders this plan be reimplemented as quickly as possible.

February 4th 1961

The Portugese colony of Angola erupts in violence as rebels attack government installations.

March 3rd 1961

At the request of the Portugese dictator Antonio Salazar, Italian advisors are sent to Angola to advise Portugese soldiers on putting down the rebellion.

March 10th 1961

President Kennedy states he is disappointed with fellow NATO nation Portugal allowing the Fascists to send advisors to Angola in response to the revolt.

March 18th 1961

A cease-fire takes effect in Algeria as France and the rebel groups open up talks on how to resolve the conflict peacefully. The French government clearly reminds the Algerians that independence is not on the table but other options may be available.

April 10th 1961

Despite protest by his advisors, President Kennedy insists that the invasion of Cuba begin within the week. It was suggested that the invasion be delayed for a few weeks in response to last minute changes to the plan, which include changing the invasion site to the "Bay of Pigs." It is also suspected that information on the invasion has been leaked.

April 17th 1961

Cuban exiles conduct beach landings on the southern coast of Cuba. Initially, air support is provided by the United States but Kennedy quickly pulls most support in the name of "plausible deniability." Without American air support Cuban tanks(mostly Italian P.40 tanks or earlier models) and soldiers(equipped with AR45's) are able to rush to the landing sites.

April 18th 1961

The Lira Block condemns the American backed invasion of Cuba. As a junior member Cuba is not entitled to protection in the defense pact but the organization votes to extend sanctions on the US if they continue to interfere with Cuban affairs.

Later, during a meeting of the Grand Council, the Councilors debate whether or not to intervene in the crisis. The more hawkish members of the council believe that the politically inept and naive Kennedy can be tricked into pulling support by showing a display of Imperial might. If Kennedy backs down it would be a massive boon for the Lira Block, if Kennedy does not, it just means that Cuba, a non-vital asset would be lost. Mussolini agrees to this plan and orders are sent out to the navy and air force immediately.

April 19th 1961

The Cuban exiles are hard pressed with most American support gone, they are on the run after their initial successes in the first day. Only intermittent naval support saves them from complete annihilation. Castro has already declared the invasion to have failed.

British Intelligence reports that two Italian carrier groups have been reported heading into the Atlantic and that Mercury bombers which could potentially reach the East Coast are rebasing in Spain. The information is quickly relayed to Washington D.C.

President Kennedy reads over the reports that only a year before President Eisenhower was presented with. But, Kennedy is not Eisenhower, he is not as self confident, or a military man, not knowing any better he puts his trust in these worst case scenarios of Italian domination of Europe. The only silver lining to these documents is the fact that the Italian fleet could easily be disposed of by the American Navy. The reports from Cuba are just as bleak. There is no general uprising and without a large commitment of American troops there will be no overthrow of the Castro government. The operation has proven to be a complete failure and Kennedy chooses to end American support before he gets drawn into a much larger conflict.

*Note: It might seem odd that Kennedy would back down against the New Roman Empire, but historically Kennedy had put his faith behind bad intelligence supplied by agencies that were attempting to gain more funding. The prime example of this is the missile gap myth. Here we have the panicked reports of American allies who grossly overestimate Italian strength.*

End of Part 35.

 

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