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. 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 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.” 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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