Italy 1936 - An alternate Italian history of World War II
April 14th 1963
9:30 AM Local Time
The Italians continue to slowly push the Israelis back. Egyptian forces have almost completely regrouped and are adding their numerical weight to the offensive.
12:00 PM Local Time
Offensives from the other Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon are initiated by this time but they are largely ineffectual with the IDF holding firm in their defenses. They do provide the valuable service of forcing the Israeli’s to keep over one hundred thousand soldiers tied down in defense of their borders.
4:00 PM Local Time
The front lines are back to their pre-offensive placement and the Italian counteroffensive continues into Israel in what has been dubbed the "Easter War."
April 15th 1963
The war in Israel continues as the Lira Block makes their first gains into the Holy Land. The IDF is forced to start pulling forces from the other borders to try to halt the tide of the Italian and Egyptian advance. They wound surrender land in the captured north and east to secure their prewar borders. Victory was still a distinct possibility against the numerically inferior Italian force.
In the United States the headline "The Empire Strikes Back," quickly dominates most news outlets as the defining action and feature of the war. A young film student from Washington is particularly taken by this phrase and makes sure to jot it down in a notebook. The film students name is George Lucas.
April 16th 1963
Israeli forces continue to withdraw towards the center of the country as the Gaza Strip is recaptured by Italian and Egyptian forces. For the most part the Lebanese, and Syrian borders are still largely intact with only minor incursions. One alarming report has come in though of European soldiers executing the entire population of a small town. No one knows who orchestrated the attack and no Italians are known to have been operating in that sector but early reports have stated that the men may have been speaking German.
The Easter War is also quickly becoming the first widely broadcasted war by the media. Reporters report directly from the front lines and aboard aircraft carriers speaking of nearly every event no matter how minor. Despite the bias of the Italian news agencies they provide the most detailed reports to the world at large of the conflict.
April 18th 1963
The Israeli government begins discussing the possibility of using nuclear weapons if a victory can not be obtained or outside intervention can be save the state. The artificial line in the sand is Jerusalem, if the holy city is on the brink of falling then nuclear weapons will deployed against the Lira Block.
An second smaller offensive is launched out of Lebanon spearheaded by the Italian division there. They are making good progress against the weakened Israeli lines. They are under orders to capture the port city of Haifa.
April 20th 1963
The Italian people rejoice, the birthplace of Jesus, Bethlehem is liberated from Israeli oppression. Jerusalem is now in the sights of the advancing crusaders and the Holy City will be free once again.
On the political front cracks have been developing between the New Roman Empire and the Arab nations of the Lira Block. Each of the Arab countries believes that they rightfully should be given control over the Holy Land and even voicing opposition to the Imperial crown’s claim.
The Israeli government flees Jerusalem to Afufa reestablishing the government there as Jerusalem itself becomes threatened.
April 21st 1963
In the Grand Council of Fascists a debate rages over the long term plans for the Empire in Judea. The more hawkish faction led by Medici calls for the annexation of the region, saying that the Arab nations will have to go along with it because the Empire is there only viable option. The Americans will make them to become democracies, and the Soviets will make them become atheists.
Balbo and Ciano lead the opposing faction who believe that the Arabs do indeed possess chooses and a bad decision here by the Empire could lead to the disintegration of the Lira Block and a near endless war in the Holy Land, as once former allies try to liberate the region from the newest set of heathen conquerors. Ciano calls for a negotiated peace with the Israelis. They need to keep them around so that the Arab nations of the Lira Block have a single enemy.
After many hours of constant debate, Mussolini who has remained unusually quiet sides with his son-in-law and tells him to bring about an acceptable peace.
April 22nd 1963
As the combined Italo-Arab armies advance on Jerusalem, the first diplomatic communications come from Rome requesting peace talks. Taken aback by this strange turn of events when it appeared all too clear that an Italian victory was almost inevitable. This may just be the glimmer of hope that will save the Israeli state and prevent nuclear exchange.
April 23rd 1963
Egyptian and Jordanian shock troops lead the way into Jerusalem. They are supported by Italian artillery, helicopters and aircraft but ground troops remain a safe distance behind allowing their allies to take the worst the Israelis have to offer.
Negotiations get off to a rocky start between the NRE and Israel as neither side is able to agree to even a cease fire at this point. They can not even agree on a location for the talks to commence. Neither side is willing to step foot on their enemy’s land.
April 24th 1963
The Dome on the Rock comes crashing down destroying the third holiest site in Islam in a spectacular display of artillery bombardment. Thousands of incensed Muslims take to the streets and throw themselves against the Jewish inhabitants. They even attempt to tear down the weeping wall but the ancient structure stands strong against their attempts.
Lira Block propaganda immediately begins painting this as a deliberate attack by withdrawing Israeli forces. It is far more likely though that the destruction of the mosque was accidental, and probably caused by Italian artillery which have been fired near indiscriminately into the city for the past two days. One conspiracy theory says that the destruction of the mosque was ordered directly by a high ranking Fascist official looking to escalate the war.
April 25th 1963
Heavy fighting and rioting continues in Jerusalem and riots spread throughout the country tying down the IDF.
The NRE and Israel agree to conduct peace talks in Malta following an offer by the British government. A similar offer by the United States was turned down due to Kennedy’s recent actions against Lira Block nations.
April 26th 1963
A cease-fire is called between Imperial forces and the IDF. Spain, San Marino and Greek forces also agree to honor it. The Arab nations of the Lira Block vow to fight on and continue their holy war.
April 28th 1963
Following the cutting of support by Rome, the Arab offensives grind to a halt and they are forced, reluctantly so to join the rest of the Lira Block at the peace talks.
Rioting is still rampant throughout Israel and it appears to some that the country may not last long enough to see peace.
May 2nd 1963
Protestors launch the Children’s Crusade in Birmingham. Thousands of students take to the streets against segregation. Not knowing how the Fascist counter protesters will respond to the students, routes are carefully picked that the students only encounter police officials. By the end of the day over a thousand children are arrested.
May 3rd 1963
With his jails full, Sheriff Conner orders the fire trucks onto the streets to use their hoses on the protesters to drive them back. The organized march quickly turns into chaos as the high pressure hoses are unleashed against the masses. As they flee down side streets they are met by a wave of Blackshirts.
Members of the Georgian Fascist Front arrive by bus looking to support their Fascist brothers.
In Malta a peace deal is reached between the Lira Block and Israel, though rather reluctantly for the Arab nations involved. The Lira Block will withdraw to its prewar borders in exchange for Israel recognizing the claims of Egypt, Syria and Jordan to the Gaza strip, Golan Heights and the West Bank. Israel will also abandon Jerusalem and allow it to become a "free city." Israel will also pay reparations of nearly 900 million dollars to the Lira Block. Both sides agree to put an end to the "Shadow War" existing between the two states in the form of assassinations and kidnapings. No agreement can be reached on either side officially recognizing the governments of the other however. No settlement can be reached over blame for the destruction of the Dome on the Rock or plans to rebuild it.
*Note: In the original plans for the division of the area between the Palestinians and Jews, Jerusalem was going to be a free city but Israel seized the western half of the city and placed and made it the capital.*
May 4th 1963
The Lira Block begins withdrawing its soldiers from Israel except for Italian soldiers deployed to Jerusalem to assure prevent further violence. Israel prepares for the moving of its capital to Tel Aviv.
Both sides are able to claim victory. The New Roman Empire can claim that they have freed Jerusalem from Israeli oppression and the Israeli’s can claim to have weathered the storm and survived as a country and people.
The United States praises the peace treaty for avoiding a nuclear exchange that could have engulfed the war, it also pledges hundreds of millions of dollars to Israel to pay off the debts owned to the Lira Block.
Israeli police and military continue clashing with Palestinians and there seems to be signs of the riots ending at this point.
May 5th 1963
An all out war breaks out in Birmingham as the protesters abandon nonviolent solutions and attack police and the counter-protesters leading to massive street brawls.
May 7th 1963
Birmingham is in complete chaos as most of the city’s infrastructure has collapsed in the weeks of protests. Local leaders are demanding that a settlement be reached with the black community and that police begin arresting the Blackshirt rioters as well as the protesters.
The largest riot the city has ever seen occurs when 3,000 protestors clash with over 500 Young Fascists. The city’s police department is unable deal with an action of this size and reinforcements from the surrounding towns and counties are rushed in. President Kennedy orders that 3,000 federal troops deployed to the city to restore order.
May 8th 1963
Local business leaders in Birmingham agree to almost all of the Black community’s demands and strongly encourages the local government to repeal their jim crow laws.
YFM leaders vow to fight on for the cause of segregation both in Birmingham and across the United States. But, most of Young Fascists leave the city with the arrival of Federal troops.
May 9th 1963
Envoys from Arab nations arrive in Rome to discuss the Italian plans for the future of Israel and their unhappiness over the agreed upon peace treaty.
End of Part 39.
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