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Italy 1936 - An alternate Italian history of World War II

Part 36

By

Vincent Longobardi

 

 

April 20th 1961

The Italians have no time to celebrate their political victory over the U.S. as reports begin coming in that a cabal of French generals are planning to launch a coup against the De Gaulle government. Believing that the war is close to being won by military might they reject the idea of a cease-fire as it allows the Algerians to rebuild. The most militant of the generals, Raoul Salan has requested to meet with Fascist officials in Tunisia trying to secure Italian support for the operation.

April 21st 1961

General Salan meets with Count Ciano and Air Marshall Balbo requesting intervention in Algeria and support for the coup. Salan tells the men that he and his fellow conspirators fear that France will fail to Communism and this is their last hope for holding onto their colonial positions and keep the Communists out, in exchange for Italian support the new government will cease its attempt to retake former French lands and will begin normalizing relations with the Empire.

Ciano and Balbo agree to help the conspirators. Promising that within 48 hours of the success of the coup that 2 divisions with additional OVRA and Blackshirts units can be in Algeria. If needed, five divisions will be ready to roll into Metropolitan France within a week to instill order.

April 22nd 1961

Soldiers supporting the coup seize control of strategic points of Algeria and arrest local government officials.

Italian forces in Tunisia begin mobilizing and moving towards the border with the Blackshirt militias in the region being called up for duty. A similar scene is occurring in northern Italy along the French border.

By the end of the day, the first phase of the coup seemed to be successful as many portions of Algeria have been taken without resistance, but civilians and still loyal military units seem to be moving to resist the putsch.

April 23rd 1961

Operations in Metropolitan France fail when the airspace around France becomes a No-Fly Zone and the paratroopers are unable to seize their targets. A state of emergency is declared in southern France as the mobilization along the Italian border is reported.

President De Gaulle appearing in his military uniform makes a plea to the French people to resist this quarter of retired general backed by Fascist wolves. Upon hearing the call of their leader the largely conscripted army of France refuses to support the coup. With the memory of the Border War still fresh in their minds, many officers who had initially supported the coup turn against their leaders when they learn that the generals had made a backroom deal with Rome.

April 24th 1961

The coup effectively collapses as more and more come to oppose it. The United Kingdom offers its full support to the democratic government of France should the Italians still attempt an invasion.

April 25th 1961

The Grand Council orders the military to stand down and cancels all plans of crossing the Algerian border following the breakdown of the French half of the plan.

April 26th 1961

Conspirator General Challe surrenders to French authorities. General Salan flees to Rome and is granted asylum.

Salan will continue the fight against what he believes to be the communist French government through the OAS terrorist organization operating out of Spain and the New Roman Empire.

May 31st 1961

South Africa officially leaves the Commonwealth of Nations.

June 10th 1961

Olivetta, an Italian electronics company wins the supercomputer contest issued by Medici. The currently produced prototype meets all the requirements set down by Medici, being full programable, and easily mass produced as well as using all Italian parts.

June 19th 1961

Kuwait is granted additional freedoms and more autonomy in its rule. Britain still maintains a military force within the country to prevent any fascist incursion from Iraq and to make sure that Kuwait does not attempt to join the Lira Block. Additional freedom and future independence is promised by the government, no time table is set for this.

July 2nd 1961

Peace talks break down in Algeria and violence once again becomes the norm in the French colony.

July 25th 1961

The Mau Mau Uprising is considered successfully put down in Kenya after nine years of fighting.

August 10th 1961

The comic "Asterix the Gaul" flies off the shelves in France in itís first compilation of the previously serialized comic. Set during Roman times is centered around a single Gaulish village which has resisted Roman dominance because of a secret strength potion created by the village druid. The story focuses on a plot by Julius Caesar(who is a caricature of Mussolini) and his lap-dog messenger Casio(Ciano) to kidnap the druid Getafix to get the potion, forcing Asterix to save Getafix.

August 13th 1961

Construction on the Berlin Wall begins creating a clear boundary between West Berlin and East Berlin.

September 10th 1961

Twenty members(of 100 total members) of the tiny San Marino Fascist Party raid the Grand and General Council quickly overpowering the largely ceremonial guard and taking the Councilors and the Captain-Regents of San Marino hostage. Barricading themselves inside the Palazzo Pubblico they declare themselves the true government of San Marino. They immediately vote to petition Rome requesting membership within the New Roman Empire.

Rome quickly acknowledges the new government and accepts the request for admission as it is the will of the people.

By midday, Blackshirt units from the surrounding area are called up to secure San Marino. Rolling into the tiny nation they face surprisingly stiff resistance from the citizen-soldiers of San Marino. Many Blackshirts are repulsed in their first attempt to enter the country when they believed they would be able to just march in, they donít make the same mistake twice. Meanwhile, the police of San Marino order the arrest of all members of the San Marino Fascist Party and lay siege to the Palazzo Pubblico.

Though they fight bravely, the Sammarinese are no match for the modern and numerically superior Italian force. By dusk the nation is in the handís of the Empire. Sporadic resistance will continue for weeks as soldiers and armed civilians flee into the hills, but the nation proper fell in a day.

The Most Serene Republic of San Marino, the oldest republic in the world is no more.

*Note: Technically San Marino is still a country it is an autonomous state within the New Roman Empire. But, in reality this means very little and the new Sammarinese government will be taking all of its marching orders from Rome.*

September 11th 1961

Except for the expected and almost mandatory protests about the coup and the illegal invasion of the European microstate the event is largely ignored, there is nothing the outside world can do and frankly it was expected to happen eventually.

September 12th 1961

San Marino is officially welcomed into the Empire and becomes a senior member of the Lira Block. The leaders of the march on the Palazzo are declared heroes of the Empire and of Fascism. Those who did not survive are martyrs to the cause and given state funerals.

September 15th 1961

The Police in Monaco are given orders to closely monitor any internal Fascist threat to prevent a similar coup from happening in the Principality.

September 28th 1961

A military coup occurs in Damacus removing Syria from the UAR. Learning from the Iraqi coup, the new government reaffirms Syriaís commitment to the Lira Block.

October 20th 1961

The same authors who wrote "The world Mussolini will make," release their latest book "Without the March On Rome." This book presents a horrific alternate history in which Mussolini does not exist. Communism has swept across most of Europe consuming all of the Balkans and stretching its icy grip into western Europe. Italy has fallen into anarchy as communists and anarchists dismantled the unified state turning the peninsula back into a network of feuding city states. The Papacy and the Italian royal family has been run out of Rome by communist insurgents. The book culminates with a large scale nuclear exchange between the Soviet Union and the United States as the U.S. attempts to hold back the Communist forces, ever advancing as they have no Fascist bulwark to keep them back.

October 27th 1961

In Berlin. American and Soviet tanks stand off against each other over the construction of the Berlin Wall.

November 18th 1961

President Kennedy sends18,000 advisors to Vietnam.

December 2nd 1961

Fidel Castro officially declares himself to be a Fascist in the tradition of Mussolini and that Cuba will work towards creating a Fascist state that is compatible with Cuban traditions and culture.

December 21st 1961

From Count Cianoís Diary: "I fear for the Duceís state of mind. Today, he went into a rant of how Christmas is approaching and the act of gift giving weakens the Roman spirit. He remarked that he might replace the entire idea of Christmas with the ancient Roman Winter Solstice. He has become more prone to these types of comments since his stroke, I pray everyday that it does not become worse.

Other members of our court also seem to be subject to delusions, in this case of grandeur. Medici has been making his rounds these past weeks speaking of how the Americans are planning to put a man on the moon and wouldnít it be grand for them to arrive to find already placed an Italian flag and a Fasces. He says it would be a great political victory to beat the Americans in this way, I would very much prefer if we secured more practical and worthwhile political victories instead of throwing money into useless endeavors. Now, I think I would of much rather preferred for him to stay in Greece, than I wouldnít have to listen to his little plans."

January 5th 1962

From Count Cianoís Diary: "Medici continues to meddle in affairs that are none of his concern. This week he met with members of the Comando Supremo and uttered complete nonsense. He told the military that within ten years computers will be small enough for every soldier on the battlefield to benefit from one, and that deadly weapons will be unleashed against our enemies while our troops remain in relative safety. Preposterous! I spoke to the Duce on this matter and he seems to agree with me saying "All our soldiers need is a rifle, a bayonet and a Roman spirit," while our troops may need slightly more than that, it is good to see that not everyone is so easily taken in by Mediciís lies. He must really learn his place, this is not Greece where he can just boss around anyone he pleases without fear."

End of Part 36.

 

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