If Italy Won the War

It’s a common thought exercise to discuss “What if Germany won the war.” But how about a different one. What if Italy won the war? WW2 that is. Let us keep in mind that Italy is actually where true fascism really began. Check out this map.

An Italian fascist's dream of Greater Italy
An Italian fascist's dream of Greater Italy

As you can see, the war is over, and Malta and Corsica are now parts of Italy, as “Republica Associatas”, which I guess means “associated republics.” Apparently Italy has some claims to both of these places going way back, but in Italy today, no one ever talks about Malta or Corsica, unless you are a fan of Italian royalty.
The writing is very small, but you can see up at the top that the Savoy and Nice have been reconquered, mostly after the war, in treaties, conquests or annexations from 1945-1951. These are former parts of Italy that the imperialist French stole about 150 years ago. The provinces were called Savoia and Nizza. Some Italians today still talk about Savoy and Nice.
Up at the top, you can see that the Tirol and “Alta Valdrava” (apparently part of Austrian Carinthia) has been conquered from Austria.
This area has changed hands a few times. The German-speaking part of Northern Italy is actually historically a part of Greater Germany, so to speak. After WW1, with the defeat of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, this bit of empire was carved up and given to Italy. The German speakers up there have never been too happy in Italy and I think they would be happier in Austria. They were persecuted during the fascist interwar years and their languages were forcibly suppressed. Italy has a pretty weak claim on South Tirol.
Given that, it seems outrageous that the Italian fascists would try to conquer Austrian Tirol too, and I don’t think the Tyroleans would go along with that.
As far as Savoy, these Alpine French have not been happy in France since the French stole the place. I’m not sure if they want to join Italy either. About 20% actually support complete separation and independence and an even larger number support autonomy.
A Romance language called Arpitan or Franco-Provencal is spoken up in the mountains there. I think it’s sort of a cross between French and Italian. A strange dialect is still spoken in Nice. It’s like a form of Italian with very heavy French admixture. Nice is really only marginally a French city.
Unlike the French, Italy came late to imperialism (forgetting for the time being the Romans). In the 1930’s, they, like the Germans and Japanese, wanted into to the colonial booty party. During the 1930’s, the King of Italy actually presided over Italy, Albania and Montenegro. How Italy acquired these places, I am not sure. At the same time, some colonies were acquired in Eritrea, Ethiopia, part of Somalia and Libya.
Italy’s African possessions are ridiculed today by anti-imperialist Italians. “Some empire!” they crack. Indeed. Libya is derided as a “sandbox.”
Overseas Italian Territories in Africa
Overseas Italian Territories in Africa

It is little known, but Italy actually lost some lands in WW2. Italy lost Trieste, Istria and Venetian Dalmatia. You can see that on the map at the upper right, fascist Italy has retained these lands as Venezia Giulia. After the war, some lands went over to Slovenia (Yugoslavia) – towns like Caporetto, Tolmino and Postumia.
Today in Italy, Mussolini is regarded more as an idiot than a figure of evil. The King was probably even more of an idiot that Mussolini.
The ex-royals are everywhere in Italy these days. Every time you turn on the TV, there they are. Emanuele Filiberto is a particularly annoying one. Dancing, singing, debating. The monarchs and their ancestors have never once said clearly to the Italian people that they are sorry for their imperial adventures. The Italians themselves? They would prefer to forget.
Maps from the killer blog, Strange Maps. Amazing site.
N.B. Irredentism is derived from a WW1-era Italian word for Italian irredentism during that era.

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8 thoughts on “If Italy Won the War”

  1. You and other leftists probably would have liked Italian Fascism and German National Socialism quite a bit – both political systems incorporated many progressive/liberal/leftist/socialist elements.
    “We have solved the problem of production, now we have to solve the problem of distribution” – Benito Mussolini: October 6, 1934

    From the 25 Point National Socialist Program:
    # All citizens must have equal rights and obligations.
    # The first obligation of every citizen must be to work both spiritually and physically. The activity of individuals is not to counteract the interests of the universality, but must have its result within the framework of the whole for the benefit of all. Consequently we demand:
    # Abolition of unearned (work and labour) incomes. Breaking of rent-slavery.
    # In consideration of the monstrous sacrifice in property and blood that each war demands of the people, personal enrichment through a war must be designated as a crime against the people. Therefore we demand the total confiscation of all war profits.
    # We demand the nationalisation of all (previous) associated industries (trusts).
    # We demand a division of profits of all heavy industries.
    # We demand an expansion on a large scale of old age welfare.
    # We demand the creation of a healthy middle class and its conservation, immediate communalization of the great warehouses and their being leased at low cost to small firms, the utmost consideration of all small firms in contracts with the State, county or municipality.
    # We demand a land reform suitable to our needs, provision of a law for the free expropriation of land for the purposes of public utility, abolition of taxes on land and prevention of all speculation in land.
    # We demand struggle without consideration against those whose activity is injurious to the general interest. Common national criminals, usurers, profiteers and so forth are to be punished with death, without consideration of confession or race.
    # We demand substitution of a German common law in place of the Roman Law serving a materialistic world-order.
    # The state is to be responsible for a fundamental reconstruction of our whole national education program, to enable every capable and industrious German to obtain higher education and subsequently introduction into leading positions. The plans of instruction of all educational institutions are to conform with the experiences of practical life. The comprehension of the concept of the State must be striven for by the school [Staatsbuergerkunde] as early as the beginning of understanding. We demand the education at the expense of the State of outstanding intellectually gifted children of poor parents without consideration of position or profession.
    # The State is to care for the elevating national health by protecting the mother and child, by outlawing child-labor, by the encouragement of physical fitness, by means of the legal establishment of a gymnastic and sport obligation, by the utmost support of all organizations concerned with the physical instruction of the young.
    # We demand abolition of the mercenary troops and formation of a national army.
    # We demand freedom of religion for all religious denominations within the state so long as they do not endanger its existence or oppose the moral senses of the Germanic race. The Party as such advocates the standpoint of a positive Christianity without binding itself confessionally to any one denomination. It combats the Jewish-materialistic spirit within and around us, and is convinced that a lasting recovery of our nation can only succeed from within on the framework: The good of the state before the good of the individual.
    – SOURCE: http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Program_of_the_NSDAP — read the entirety for more anti-capitalist/anti-plutocratic rhetoric, much of which the National Socialists actually carried out

  2. Italy lost Trieste for only a short period after WW2. The city was occupied briefly by Yugoslav forces, was an independent city state 1947-54, then reverted to Italy, though some of its hinterland is now in Slovenia.

  3. i’m italian and i’m learning english, excuse me if it’isnt good
    “Today in Italy, Mussolini is regarded more as an idiot than a figure of evil”
    “…the Italian people that they are sorry for their imperial adventures”
    what? have you ever been in italy? Mussolini was a great lawyer and is really FUNNY that the americans and british criticize MY COUNTRY four our “imperial adventures”.. the uk was the largest empire in the world, and americans today continue undeterred to wage war…
    some italians criticize Mussolini because he has lost the ww2.. yeah it’s right. but when fascist Italy won the war against Ethiopia were all with Mussolini 😉 italians are a strange people, i know.. trust me

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