Continent: Europe
Capital: Rome
National Language: Italian
Government: Unitary parliamentary republic
Status in OTL: Active

Italy is a democratic republic in southern Europe on the Mediterranean Sea.

Italy has been the home of many European cultures, such as the Etruscans and the Romans, who built a great empire, and later was the birthplace of the University, the Renaissance, modern science and astronomy, heliocentrism and Opera. Italy's capital, Rome, was for centuries the center of Western civilization. Italy possessed a colonial empire from the second half of the 19th century to the mid-20th century.

In the 1920s, Italy birthed Fascism, arguably a backlash against all that Italy had produced in the centuries before. It entered World War II as a founding member of the Axis, and was defeated.

In the years following the war, Italy voted to end its status as a monarchy, and officially became a republic.

Kingdom of Italy 1861–1946

Italy in Agent of Byzantium[]

In the 7th century, Roman Emperor Constans II succeeded in regaining Italia from the Lombards including the holy city of Rome and replacing the Bishop of Rome with one of his choosing.[1] This was recounted in the epic poem the Italiad by George Lakhanodrakon.

In 1317, iconoclasts clashed bloodily with loyalists in Neaplis in the southern part of the peninsula.[2]

Italy in Atlantis[]

A sizable number of Italian immigrants added to the diverse population of the United States of Atlantis in the 19th century. An Italian-Atlantean named La Strada held an important post in the Hanover police department. James Walton observed that such an appointment would be unlikely to happen in London.

Italy in "Counting Potsherds"[]

Toga-clad merchants from Italy could be seen at the harbor of Peiraieus.[3]

Italy in Crosstime Traffic[]

In the home timeline, Italy was a member of the European Union, and a functional democratic state with a thriving economy. Crosstime Traffic had businesses in the home timeline, as well as in several alternates.

Italy in The Disunited States of America[]

Italy was one of the world's great powers in the late 21st century.

Italy in The Gladiator[]

In the late 20th century, popular fronts in Italy brought country under the sway of the Soviet Union and Communism, which re-established it as the Italian People's Republic. The country was built on the Soviet model, with the General Secretary of the Italian Communist Party acting as the country's de facto leader. Although the Security Police operated in Italy and the country was set up along Soviet lines, the Italians didn't take Communism as seriously as the Russians and tended to mock the Russians whenever they could get away with it.

Crosstime Traffic chose Italy as the location for two gaming shops designed to quietly introduce ideas of capitalism into Italy in the year 2097. While they were detected, and had to close down the gaming shops, they did eventually return with new fronts.

Italy in In High Places[]

Italy fell under Muslim rule in the wake of the Great Black Deaths. In Naples, there was a major slave market where Christian captives from far away ended up being sold.

Italy in Days of Infamy[]

Italy was fighting the British for control of the Mediterranean and North Africa when Japan invaded Hawaii in late 1941. Although the major force in that theatre, the Germans quickly overshadowed all their efforts, pushing them into the background.

As 1942 drew to a close, the British, along with their US allies, defeated the combined Italian and German armies at El Alamein, forcing them to retreat.

Italy in "The Horse of Bronze"[]

The Italian Peninsula was home to many dangers, including Scylla and Charybdis, along with the Sirens. On his voyage to the Tin Isle, Cheiron just barely made it past these dangers, forcing him to take the southern route around the peninsula during the return voyage.

Italy in The Hot War[]

Italy was invaded by the Soviet Union early in World War III. By the end of February 1951, the Soviets had overrun the northeastern part of the country.[4] Milan fell to the Fifth Guards Tank Army on 30 April. The Soviets then turned towards Turin.[5] By July, they held the entire Po Valley, and the communists of Italy seemed more active.[6]

Still, after these initial gains, Italy was reduced to something of backwater, as Soviet generals were much more interested in using it as a southern road into France. In March 1952, the Soviets made their way into Bologna, although the Italian military denied that the Soviets actually controlled the town.[7]

The Soviets withdrew in July, 1952 after the Treaty of Versailles ended the war.

Italy in In the Presence of Mine Enemies[]

Italy was allied with Germany in the Axis during World War II. They assisted the Reich in defeating British and Commonwealth forces in North Africa. When the Axis emerged victorious at the end of the war, Italy controlled an empire that was centered on the Mediterranean Sea, and included parts of the Middle East and North Africa. In the 21st Century, Italy was ruled by primarily by the Duce; the monarch, King Umberto III, wielded only symbolic power, but the government still listened to his advice.

Germany compelled the Italian government to perpetrate large-scale massacres of Arabs in their Middle East empire, much as they had enacted anti-Jewish race laws in 1938, which were not part of Mussolini's original Fascist program.

Italy had an excellent football team, and was dependent on revenue from matches against visiting teams. Italian tourists also visited the Reich's capital of Berlin.

Despite the alliance between the Italian Empire and the Reich, there were disputes between the two nations sometimes. Italian fans rioted after the German team Leipzig won a football match against Italy in Milan in 2010 because the hometeam's goal was blocked on an offside call. The German Federation of Sport reacted by demanding an apology from their Italian counterparts and withdrew from competition with teams from the Italian Empire until the issue was resolved.

King Umberto and the Duce made no comment when the SS attempted a Putsch against reformist Führer Heinz Buckliger in 2011.

Italy in Joe Steele[]

Italy was a cautious ally of Germany in the lead-up and during World War II. While Hitler rearranged the map of Europe in the late 1930s, Benito Mussolini made a grab for the Balkans and the Suez Canal but was stalled by the British. Germany assisted its ally in 1940-41 by invading Yugoslavia and Greece. In addition Hitler sent out the Afrika Korps to help Italy in North Africa.[8] However, after German forces were trapped in the Trotskygrad pocket by the Soviet Union, it didn't have the manpower to spare and so when U.S. forces under General Omar Bradley landed in North Africa, they forced the Afrika Korps along with the Italians back from Egypt to Tunisia.[9]

After the American and British forces landed in Normandy, the Allies also invaded Italy. Once more, the Germans took the lead in defense, fighting hard to hold a line then falling back a few miles to hold the next using the rugged terrain well.[10] However, with the defeat of Germany, Italy along with western Europe fell to Western forces while the Soviets seized eastern and central Europe. With the final peace, Soviet leader Leon Trotsky soon stirred up trouble in Italy with leftist popular fronts.[11]

Literary Comment[]

In the short story, after the German defeat at Trotskygrad, the war on the Eastern Front began to bog down. Soviet leader Leon Trotsky kept screaming at the Western Allies for a second front in Italy. President Joe Steele, who wanted the Germans and the Russians to bleed each other to death, flatly refused to invade Italy. This was the sole reference to Italy.

Italy in "Last Flight of the Swan of the East"[]

While Italy should have joined the Central Powers in the Great War, she remained neutral.[12]

Italy in "Lure"[]

During the Miocene Epoch, 10 million years before the rise of civilization, Italy was home to fauna including Cynodesmus, Syndyoceras, Diceratherium, and Oreopithecus, which all became extinct before the age of humans. Harvey Cutter traveled back in time there to capture live specimens of hominoids for the San Diego Cenozoic Zoo.

Italy in "Manuscript Tradition"[]

Around the year 1400, a denizen of the planet Faraday crash landed in northern Italy. He adapted to human culture, but still longed for his home. While residing in Italy, he created a codex of writings and illustrations, which subsequently came to be called the Voynich Manuscript.[13]

Italy in "Myth Manners' Guide to Greek Missology"[]

The warrior woman Andromeda encountered and humiliated Victoria and the Gorgons in Italy near Mount Vesuvius.

Italy in "The Phantom Tolbukhin"[]

Italy contributed troops to Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union in May 1941. While the invasion went quite well, by 1947 the Germans were relying heavily on Italians, Hungarians and Romanians to maintain the continued occupation of the Ukraine.[14]

Italy in "Ready for the Fatherland"[]

Italy, with the aid of Nazi Germany, fought off the Allied invasion of its mainland in 1943, although Britain conquered Sicily and retained it as late as 1979. By that year, mainland Italy - now federated as the Italian Social Republic - was part of the Fascist bloc in the three-way cold war against both the Anglo-American alliance and the Soviet Union.

Italy in Southern Victory[]

Italy was a founding member of the Central Powers alliance system with Germany, Austria-Hungary and the United States. However, when Austria-Hungary invoked this alliance in 1914 in preparation for a war against Russia (which developed into the Great War), Italy refused to participate, claiming the war was not a defensive war on Vienna's part.

Italy remained neutral throughout the war, much to the frustration of the Germans and Austro-Hungarians who wanted access to its strategic locations. Italy was briefly courted by the Entente, but remained neutral.

Despite its neutrality, Italy granted full diplomatic recognition to the Republic of Quebec upon that nation's inception in 1917.

During the interwar years, Italy faced many of the same economic problems the rest of the world did. Benito Mussolini ran a failed bid for office on the promise that he would make the trains run on time.

Italy remained neutral when the Second Great War erupted in 1941.

Italy in Through Darkest Europe[]

In the centuries following the fall of the greater Christian empires, the disparate Italian city-states unified into the Grand Duchy of Italy.

Italy in The Two Georges[]

The peninsula of Italy comprised numerous principalities and independent city states[15] (including the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies[16]). The Italian states were the subject of the intrigues of its neighbor, Austria.[17]

Italy in The War That Came Early[]

Although the Fascist government of Italy had supported Marshal José Sanjurjo's Nationalists in the Spanish Civil War, Benito Mussolini was hesitant to follow Adolf Hitler and Germany into a wider European war. Nonetheless, when the Munich Conference ended in 1938 with a German declaration of war against Czechoslovakia, Italy sided with Germany and officially went to war against France, Britain, and the Soviet Union.

However, Italy did very little in the first year of the war. It made no significant contribution to the invasions of Czechoslovakia, the Low Countries, France, Denmark, or Norway. When Germany suffered setbacks in both France and Poland during 1939-1940, Italy did not provide any useful aid to its supposed ally.

Italy did continue to support Sanjuro's forces, contributing troops and tanks to the attack on Gibraltar. Even amongst the Nationalists, Italian troops were viewed with disdain, with a reputation for fighting half-heartedly and fleeing when the opportunity arose. As the wider war continued, Germany's support of the Nationalists dwindled, and Italy followed suit.

By 1940, Italy's involvement in the war was limited to a desultory conflict with Britain in Somaliland. Later that year the Hess Agreement saw Italy make peace with its foes, before Britain resumed its war with the fascist powers in late 1941. To punish Britain, Italy created a new theater of war in North Africa by launching an invasion of Egypt out of Libya.

While some Italian soldiers fought effectively, poor morale among the rest, combined with obsolescent equipment, led to the Italians being driven back into Libya. In the autumn of 1941 the British began laying siege to Tobruk in the face of half-hearted Italian resistance. Two days before the slow-moving British were due to begin their assault on the port, Luftwaffe fighters and dive bombers intervened. Shortly after, the British were driven back into Egypt by Walther Model's Afrika Korps.

Italy continued to participate in a limited capacity in the war, ultimately to its detriment. In the second half of 1943, Marshal Sanjurjo was killed by a sniper, and the Nationalists were finally defeated the following year.[18] In April 1944, Hitler himself was overthrown, and the Nazis removed from power.[19] In short order, Mussolini himself was struggling to keep the reins of power in his own country.[20]

Literary Note[]

The series ends with Mussolini still in his precarious position.

Italy in Worldwar[]

Under Benito Mussolini, Italy was allied with Germany in the Axis in 1942. During World War II, it fought British forces in North Africa and had also contributed troops to Germany's 1941 invasion of the Soviet Union.

When the Race's Conquest Fleet landed in 1942, Italy surrendered to the alien invaders less than three months later, and Mussolini was overthrown. He was imprisoned, but was later freed in a raid by Otto Skorzeny and eventually went to the United States. During the fighting the Italian government, along with Pope Pius XII and the Vatican, grew very cooperative with the occupying Race, a state of affairs that angered most Italian citizens. Rioting began in 1943.

The Race used Italy as a base from which to invade German-held territory, including Croatia in mid-1943. The Germans retaliated by destroying the city of Rome with an atomic bomb smuggled into the city, causing heavy military and administrative casualties for the Race and killing Pope Pius.

At the Peace of Cairo Conference in 1944, German representative Joachim von Ribbentrop demanded that the Race cede Italy to Germany, and Italy became a vassal of the Greater German Reich.

Literary Note[]

Italy's postwar status is ambiguous within the Colonization series. In Second Contact Sam Yeager notices an Italian embassy in Little Rock among those of Germany's vassals, indicating that like Romania and Hungary Italy was not annexed into the Reich. Yet in the novel's world map and throughout the rest of the series, especially during the Race-German War of 1965, Italy is not mentioned as being among Germany's 'independent' allies.

See also[]

  • Yanina, a rough analogue of World War II Italy and Romania in the Darkness series.


  1. Agent of Byzantium, 2018 edition, pgs. 138-139.
  2. Ibid., p. 206.
  3. Departures, p. 2.
  4. Bombs Away, pgs. 134, ebook.
  5. Ibid., pg. 329.
  6. Fallout, loc. 1611-1641, e-book
  7. Ibid., loc. 5535.
  8. Joe Steele, pg. 234, HC.
  9. Ibid, pgs. 266-268.
  10. Ibid, pg. 296.
  11. Ibid, pgs. 333-334.
  12. Leviathans: Armored Skies, loc. 5479, ebook.
  13. https://www.tor.com/2020/02/19/manuscript-tradition-harry-turtledove/
  14. See, e.g., Counting Up, Counting Down, pg. 106, TPB.
  15. The Two Georges, pg. 48, mmp.
  16. Ibid., pg. 505
  17. Ibid. pg. 92.
  18. Last Orders, pg. 144-146.
  19. Ibid., pg. 300.
  20. Ibid., pg. 382.