|Kingdom of Italy|
|Flag of the Kingdom of Italy|
Italy, officially the Regno d'Italia (English: Kingdom of Italy) is a country in Southern Europe, controlling the Italian Peninsula and most of the Balkans, bordering Germany, Vichy France, Romania, Hungary, and Bulgaria. As well, Italy controls much of North and East Africa as well as the parts of the Middle East and Arabian Peninsula. Cipro is controlled by Italy as a puppet state.
Italy was formed after the unification of Italy under the influence of the Kingdom of Sardinia, which can be considered its legal predecessor state. Italy entered into a Triple Alliance with Germany and Austria-Hungary in 1882, following strong disagreements with France about the respective colonial expansions. However, even if relations with Berlin became very friendly, the alliance with Vienna remained purely formal as the Italians were keen to acquire Trentino and Trieste, corners of Austria-Hungary populated by Italians. So in 1915, Italy accepted the British invitation to join the Allied Powers, as the western powers promised territorial compensation (at the expense of Austria-Hungary) for participation that was more generous than Vienna's offer in exchange for Italian neutrality. Victory in the war gave Italy a permanent seat in the Council of the League of Nations.
Since 1922, Italy has been under the control of Benito Mussolini and the National Fascist Party. The fascists impose totalitarian rule and crush political and intellectual opposition, while promoting economic modernization, traditional social values and a rapprochement with the Roman Catholic Church.
Italy is an important member of the Axis powers, a military alliance between the fascists states of Europe. After World War 2, Italy gained most of Yugoslavia and Greece, as well as large amounts of territory in Africa and the Middle East. Italy also split Switzerland with Germany after the Alpine War
March on Rome
In October 1922, Benito Mussolini took advantage of a general strike by workers and announced his demands to the government to give the Fascist Party political power or face a coup. With no immediate response, a small number of Fascists began a long trek across Italy to Rome which was known as the "March on Rome", claiming to Italians that Fascists were intending to restore law and order. Under the leadership of Mussolini, the Fascists demanded Prime Minister Luigi Facta's resignation and that Mussolini be named Prime Minister. Although the Italian Army was far better armed than the Fascist paramilitaries, the Italian government under King Vittorio Emmanuele III faced a political crisis. The King was forced to decide which of the two rival movements in Italy would form the new government: Mussolini's Fascists or the anti-royalist Italian Socialist Party, ultimately deciding to endorse the Fascists.
On 28 October 1922, the King invited Mussolini to become Prime Minister, allowing Mussolini and the Fascist Party to pursue their political ambitions as long as they supported the monarchy and its interests. At 39, Mussolini was young compared to other Italian and European leaders. His supporters named him "Il Duce" ("The Leader"). A personality cult was developed that portrayed him as the nation's saviour which was aided by the personal popularity he held with Italians already.
Upon taking power, Mussolini formed a legislative coalition with nationalists, liberals and populists. However, goodwill by the Fascists towards parliamentary democracy faded quickly: Mussolini's coalition passed the electoral Acerbo Law of 1923, which gave two-thirds of the seats in parliament to the party or coalition that achieved 25% of the vote. The Fascist Party used violence and intimidation to achieve the 25% threshold in the 1924 election and became the ruling political party of Italy.
Following the election, Socialist deputy Giacomo Matteotti was assassinated after calling for an annulment of the elections because of the irregularities. Following the assassination, the Socialists walked out of parliament, allowing Mussolini to pass more authoritarian laws. In 1925, Mussolini accepted responsibility for the Fascist violence in 1924 and promised that dissenters would be dealt with harshly. Before the speech, Blackshirts smashed opposition presses and beat up several of Mussolini's opponents. This event is considered the onset of undisguised Fascist dictatorship in Italy, though it would be 1928 before the Fascist Party was formally declared the only legal party in the country.
Over the next four years, Mussolini eliminated nearly all checks and balances on his power. In 1926, Mussolini passed a law that declared he was responsible only to the King and made him the sole person able to determine Parliament's agenda. Local autonomy was swept away and appointed podestas replaced communal mayors and councils. Soon after all other parties were banned in 1928, parliamentary elections were replaced by plebiscites in which the Grand Council nominated a single list of candidates. Mussolini wielding enormous political powers as the effective ruler of Italy. The King was a figurehead and handled ceremonial roles.
World War 2 and rapid expansion (1939-46)
When Germany invaded Poland on 1 September 1939 beginning World War 2, Mussolini publicly declared on 24 September 1939 that Italy had the choice of entering the war or to remain neutral which would cause the country to lose its national dignity. Nevertheless, despite his aggressive posture, Mussolini kept Italy out of the conflict for several months. Mussolini told his son in law Count Ciano that he was personally jealous over Hitler's accomplishments and hoped that Hitler's prowess would be slowed down by Allied counterattack. Mussolini went so far as to lessen Germany's successes in Europe by giving advanced notice to Belgium and the Netherlands of an imminent German invasion, of which Germany had informed Italy.
In drawing out war plans, Mussolini and the Fascist regime decided that Italy would aim to annex large portions of Africa and the Middle East to be included in its colonial empire. As France collapsed under the German Blitzkrieg, Italy declared war on France and Britain on 10 June 1940, fulfilling its obligations of the Pact of Steel. Italy hoped to quickly conquer Savoia, Nizza, Corsica and the African colonies of Tunisia and Algeria from the French, but this was quickly stopped when Germany signed an armistice with the French commander Philippe Petain who established Vichy France which retained control over these territories. This decision by Germany angered the Fascist regime. Mussolini, wanting to prove that Italy was just as capable of conquest as Germany, invaded Greece from Albania in October 1940. To the surprise of many, the Italian Army made quick work of the Greeks, forcing a surrender in just 3 months. Mussolini was then able to convince Hitler to assist in Africa and the Balkans. Although reluctant, with the Yugoslavian coup Hitler agreed to a joint invasion and, backed by the new Axis members Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria, Yugoslavia surrendered in a week.
Italy also launched successful campaigns in Africa, with the support of the Afrika Korps, and the Middle East. These areas fell to the Axis in August and October 1941, respectively. Aside from these conquests, Italian troops were mostly used as occupying forces on the Eastern Front, only participating in the Battle of Stalingrad.
Post War (1946-present)
Since the end of the war, Italy has emerged as the dominant power in the Mediterranean. Most of Yugoslavia and Greece were annexed, while former European territory Africa and the Middle East came under Italian control. Italy also split Switzerland with Germany after the Alpine War.
In Iraq, rebels have started a guerilla war against the Italians, starting in 1943. Despite the combined efforts of Germany and Italy, the conflict continues to tear the region apart.
Colonies and puppets
- Nord Africa
- Africa Orientale Italiana
- Medio Oriente
Italy is a fascist-one party totalitarian dictatorship ruled by Duce Benito Mussolini. Although the Italian monarchy still remains, it is little more than a ceremonial position.
The Grand Council of Fascism is the is the governments main body. The Grand Council has multiple "ranks" that its members can rise to. These are:
The Head of Government and Duce of Fascism
Benito Mussolini (December 9th 1928-present)
- Emilo De Bono
- Cesare Maria De Vecchi
- President of the Senate
- President of the Chamber of Fasci and Cooperations
- Foreign Affairs
- National Education
- Press and Propaganda
- The Presidents (appointed by Mussolini) of the Royal Academy of Italy, of the special court of state emergency and defense, and those of the Corporations; Industrialists, Agriculture Workers, Industrial Workers, and Farmers. The Nobel Physics laureate inventor-technologist Guglielmo Marconi was the President of the Academy of Italy, making him a council member.
- The Chief of Staff
- The Secretary of the National Fascist Party, who was also the secretary of the Council.
- Various people chosen by Mussolini himself, who each held appointments of three-year durations.
Like the other Axis members, Italy retains good relations with the members of the alliance, the only exceptions to this is German relations. Both countries are seeking to be the dominate power in Europe, leading to many disagreements between the two. Nonetheless, the two superpowers continue to work together.
Although being a founding member of the Global Fascist Movement, Italy has supported the idea of the Allied and Axis Powers working together "for a better future". What exactly this means, however, Mussolini has kept secret.
Main Article: Italian Armed Forces
The Regio Esercito (English: Italian Royal Army) is the land component of the Italian Army. 1.7 million soldiers are currently enrolled in active duty, primarily deployed in Medio Oriente to combat the Iraqi rebels. A small force was also deployed in the Western Urals at the request of Germany. Pietro Badogilo is the current commander of the Regio Esercito
The Regio Auronautica (English: Italian Royal Air Force) is the air component of the Italian Army. The Aeronautica is extremely undermanned and, compared to most other Axis countries, is technologically behind. This is largely due to the Luftwaffe needing to get rid of the propeller aircraft after the invention of the jet engine, so they sell the older aircraft's to the other members. Italy wasn't included in this deal, likely because of Germany's mild fear of their rising power. The Regio Aeronautica does not currently have a commander.
The Regia Marina (English: Royal Navy) is the naval component of the Italian Army. Unlike the Air Force, the navy is vastly superior to