A Blunted Sickle - Thread II

Driftless

Donor
^^^ With all of the caveats about Mussolini's ability to "color within the lines" of a post-war world, how likely/unlikely would there be for some internal Italian attempt to remove him from power - one way, or another?
 
^^^ With all of the caveats about Mussolini's ability to "color within the lines" of a post-war world, how likely/unlikely would there be for some internal Italian attempt to remove him from power - one way, or another?
I would guess Il Duce is fairly safe . IOTL it took three years of crushing defeats and the loss of most of the Empire for him to get overthrown, here he kept Italy out of the war and expanded its influence into Southern Europe, so a solid record of success. That is for the next few years anyway, if colonial rebellions become unmanageable, who knows, but we don't know how decolonization will happen ITTL, or even if it will happen at all.
 
I would guess Il Duce is fairly safe . IOTL it took three years of crushing defeats and the loss of most of the Empire for him to get overthrown, here he kept Italy out of the war and expanded its influence into Southern Europe, so a solid record of success. That is for the next few years anyway, if colonial rebellions become unmanageable, who knows, but we don't know how decolonization will happen ITTL, or even if it will happen at all.
I think Libya is probably going to stay Italian for a long time but Ethiopia will be lost at some point.
 
Agreed, too far away, the population is too large. The question is when - Portugal held on for an absurdly long time, and Fascist Italy is far far more powerful that Portugal.
And in addition Britain and France won't be pushed to Decolonization by the USA and arguably the USSR in the same way. Part of the answer may be how successful India is as an independent nation. If India is successful, you might see larger chunks of Africa (East Africa Federation, etc) try for independence, if the first nuke is detonated in Delhi, OTOH...
 
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Something I've been thinking about lately is how would Burma/ Myanmar turn out TTL? As the Tatmadaw is the descendant of the collaboration army that Japan created when it invaded. Since the Japanese invasion isn't happening TTL this could have significant butterflies on that countries development after independence.
 
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Something I've been thinking about lately is how would Burma/ Myanmar turn out TTL? As the Tatmadaw is the descendant of the collaboration army that Japan created when it invaded. Since the Japanese invasion which isn't happening TTL this could have significant butterflies on that countries development after independence.
Indeed, the British trained forces (which an independent Burma would likely inherit iTTL) were dominated by the Karens and other minorities.
 
Thanks. No promises, but things have to get better from where they are at the moment. If nothing else I've been told that within the next week or so I'll be formally appointed as the Chief Engineer for the political hand-grenade of a project I'm leading, rather than being formally a technical advisor to one of the sub-system leads. That'll make trying to do my job quite a bit easier.
So the CEO was told on his visit that I'm the Chief Engineer, the team in France has been told the same thing but nobody has said anything officially to me.:perservingface:

Ouch! That’s an unpleasant trifecta. Best of luck.
2/3 down, last one today. Audit went very well, my 5-up boss was on the same plane to the UK as me and told me he was really pleased with it. Turns out the report goes to the CEO before it goes to me, so it's a bit higher-level than I realised. Possibly for the best I only found out afterwards!

If he starts demanding concessions from Austria in the post war years he might wear out what little patience the Entente nations have left.
Austria is going to start out the post-war world occupied, although exactly by who is currently an open point. Getting rid of that occupation in the near term is only going to happen with some serious guarantees of neutrality, probably ones which leave it not far short of a protectorate. Italy playing silly buggers there is going to kick off a very strong response.

The thing is Romania was Francophile I wouldn't be surprised if Romania resume their relationship with France once the war is over.
Absolutely. They turned to France first in 1940, but with the Germans pretty much in Paris at the time (can't remember exactly, and can't be bothered to check) weren't going to get much help. France is also conveniently remote, and at the core of the most effective alliance bloc in Europe who are potentially anti-Soviet.

Maybe, but Italy already has troops stationed in Romania and no incentive to remove them. I don’t think we have an idea of the forces stationed there but it must be enough to deter the Soviets from further aggression. Romania might decide it is better not to rock the boat at this stage.
Think of them more as a tripwire than something sufficient to fight off 3rd Shock Army. Big enough that the Romanians can't ignore them and the Soviets have to fight them, but not big enough to actually strong-arm the Romanian government: it's influence, not force.

We will see, but France must not be too happy about Italy messing in it's traditional sphere of influence.
As for the Soviet them not being ready to intervene in Germany will probably piss off Stalin. I wonder if he'll find a scapegoat for that? Maybe his paranoia will get the better of him and think the logistic issues the soviet army have are active sabotage.
Some of it was pretty shady stuff, but fundamentally no army of the time - and especially no conscript army - was capable of launching offensive operations against a major power with as little notice as they were given.
It's also worth noting that the paranoia was about people who were a threat to him personally, not who weren't able to be a threat to the overseas enemies of the Soviet Union. Competence could easily be more dangerous than incompetence.

The more I think about it the more it seems Il Duce will be the biggest source of headaches for the Entente in the next decade.
The Empire of Japan says "Hi".
Seriously, Italy are a headache but not dangerous - they can be relied upon to be a pain in the backside, but they're massively outmatched in Europe and without Germany as a potential ally even they know it. The Japanese and Soviets are much more of a risk, and both have nuclear weapons programmes at the time. The Soviet one is proceeding more or less as OTL (start-up is driven by MAUD rather than the Manhattan project, and lower priorities are balanced with far better conditions), and the Japanese while a long way behind were much more competent than the Germans in OTL.

Counting the Entente as one power, as of the end of the war, there will by 5 powers: Entente, USA, Italy, Japan and the Soviets. Japanese and Soviet agents found will be shot, American agents found will be spanked and sent home, Italian agents, decisions will have to be made by higher ups.
Hardly. Imprisoned at His Majesty's Pleasure at worst, and then possibly exchanged for our own spies. Klaus Fuchs rather than Julius Rosenberg is the relevant precedent.

I would guess Il Duce is fairly safe . IOTL it took three years of crushing defeats and the loss of most of the Empire for him to get overthrown, here he kept Italy out of the war and expanded its influence into Southern Europe, so a solid record of success. That is for the next few years anyway, if colonial rebellions become unmanageable, who knows, but we don't know how decolonization will happen ITTL, or even if it will happen at all.
Pretty much. Libya also had rather a high population of Italian colonists (12% of the population and rising) so it won't be a classic colonial rebellion - Algeria maybe, and Apartheid South Africa is also plausible.

Agreed, too far away, the population is too large. The question is when - Portugal held on for an absurdly long time, and Fascist Italy is far far more powerful that Portugal.
And likely to remain so. I've not decided yet, but ultimately the answer is in Italian domestic politics and nowhere else.

And in addition Britain and France won't be pushed to Decolonization by the USA and arguably the USSR in the same way. Part of the answer may be how successful India is as an independent nation. If India is successful, you might see larger chunks of Africa (East Africa Federation, etc) try for independence, if the first nuke is detonated in Delhi, OTOH...
For the UK, as soon as India goes independent most of the Empire is on borrowed time. It isn't just the Indian example, the economics were fundamentally based around India being part of the Empire.
India is set up to do better ITTL than in OTL - Congress is more involved in government beforehand, Partition is probably not on the cards (a loose federation instead being probable) and independence may be up to 5 years earlier. How much so is open to question though - the License Raj isn't going away, without Partition they'll have internal communal rather than external troubles, etc.

Something I've been thinking about lately is how would Burma/ Myanmar turn out TTL? As the Tatmadaw is the descendant of the collaboration army that Japan created when it invaded. Since the Japanese invasion isn't happening TTL this could have significant butterflies on that countries development after independence.
Indeed, the British trained forces (which an independent Burma would likely inherit iTTL) were dominated by the Karens and other minorities.
I didn't know that. That explains a great deal about the place of the Burmese army in politics that I hadn't previously understood.
 
The Empire of Japan says "Hi".
Seriously, Italy are a headache but not dangerous - they can be relied upon to be a pain in the backside, but they're massively outmatched in Europe and without Germany as a potential ally even they know it. The Japanese and Soviets are much more of a risk, and both have nuclear weapons programmes at the time. The Soviet one is proceeding more or less as OTL (start-up is driven by MAUD rather than the Manhattan project, and lower priorities are balanced with far better conditions), and the Japanese while a long way behind were much more competent than the Germans in OTL.


Hardly. Imprisoned at His Majesty's Pleasure at worst, and then possibly exchanged for our own spies. Klaus Fuchs rather than Julius Rosenberg is the relevant precedent.
The areas where the Italians have a significant advantage over either France or Britain are small, and over the combined... No.

Depends, Richard Sorge is also a precedent (the Japanese were not at war with the Soviets at that point)

I wonder what happens with Sorge iTTL. Stalin would love advance notice of any serious fighting between the IJA and IJN.
 
Something else to consider is that Japan had a nuke program as well.
Yes, but I've never seen anything to indicate that it is beyond the experimental stage. I don't think the Japanese Empire had Uranium deposits. And then there is the question of whether the research program (and the results) would have been controlled by the IJA or the IJN.
 
Yes, but I've never seen anything to indicate that it is beyond the experimental stage. I don't think the Japanese Empire had Uranium deposits. And then there is the question of whether the research program (and the results) would have been controlled by the IJA or the IJN.
Shurely they'd both have one. And try to sabotage the rival project by all means up to and including commando raids on installations and assassination of key personnel.

:)
 
In the post war world it will be interesting if Italy and Japan start aligning with each other - they certainly have shared interests.
 
Yes, but I've never seen anything to indicate that it is beyond the experimental stage. I don't think the Japanese Empire had Uranium deposits. And then there is the question of whether the research program (and the results) would have been controlled by the IJA or the IJN.
There are uranium deposits in North Korea, at least, and possibly in Madchouria.
It seems nuclear research was more or less a joint Army-Navy program in Japan. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_nuclear_weapon_program
 
There are uranium deposits in North Korea, at least, and possibly in Madchouria.
It seems nuclear research was more or less a joint Army-Navy program in Japan. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_nuclear_weapon_program

If I read this correctly, and bearing in mind Wiki's limit, the Japanese had three different nuclear programs:
  1. The Army's RIKEN/Ni-Go project, which had enlisted the prominent nuclear specialist Nishina but by 1945 was still bogged down trying to figure out enrichment via thermal diffusion;
  2. The Navy's first project, B-Research, which interestingly started out in 1941 as an attempt to explore nuclear propulsion for the Kaigun's ships and only briefly dabbled with nuclear weapons around 1942 before quickly (and soberly) throwing the towel ;
  3. The Navy's second attempt, carried out by a different command, F-Go, which from 1943 on enlisted the only slightly less prominent scientist Arakatsu In 1945, they were exploring centrifugal separation.
Apparently, in 1944 there were some attempts at coordination between the F-Go and Ni-Go teams, but given not only that there was apparently only one plenary meeting, but also that in 1945 both teams were working on enrichment separately and using different technologies (thermal vs centrifugal), I am strongly leaning towards considering this "coordination" effort as one more skirmish in the Army-Navy rivalry, possibly the Navy's attempt at capturing the Army's older project using the argument of "rationalisation".

TTL, pdf has confirmed Japan was going down more or less the same path, with this reference to the Ni-Go project:
27th August 1941 said:
Viscount Ōkōchi orders Dr Yoshio Nishina to investigate the possibility of Japan building nuclear weapons, and to report back through him to the Army Minister by the end of the year.

Similarly, he has confirmed Japan would get atomic weapons within "a few years" if it avoids war:
Remember, nuclear weapons are still coming fast. Within a few years, any war between Japan and the Entente will turn nuclear straight away...

So the questions are still the same: (1) What will Japan do in the next few months, avoid the war entirely or not? and (2) how long will it take them to produce aweapon + a vector? Let's make an (un)educated guess about that last one.

Quick research yield rather few ressources and most (including wiki's) rely on the work of one Walter Grunden, which I cannot access, so take it all with a hill of salt, but apparently the main roadblocks were funding, internecine rivalry, and access to quality uranium ore -- the Japanese didn't manage to exploit or didn't find the korean deposits you are refering to during the war. Do mind that altough all three constrains are structural to the Empire of Japan, TTL they will be reduced eventually, when Tokyo learns of the Entente project's success for the first two ,and when it taps into korean fields for the last one.

According to this page of the Atomic Heritage Foundation, the B-Research scientists themselves concluded in 1942 that it would take about a decade for Japan to produce a working nuclear weapon. We may perhaps, "optimistically", shave off a couple years at best based on the accelerating factors mentionned above and possible intel gathered from predecessor, foreign programs. That gives us an early 50s timeframe for a Japanese bomb.

OTL the Soviets, with vastly superior ressources and intel, didn't manage one until 1949, which gives us an "earliest (im)possible date" for Japan; the French developped theirs in 6 years between 1954 and 1960, but it is is probably less than would take the Japanese due to the advancement of nuclear tech between 1941 and the aforementioned structural constrains. The Chinese built theirs in ten years, with the help of brilliant minds and soviet assistance.

All in, I would put my money on the Japanese program beginning in earnest in 1943 (depending on when the Entente unveils their weapons) and taking about eight years (less than the Chinese program and more than the French one, and about twice the soviet one), which gives us a bomb around 1951. Of course, they still have to get a delivery method, but they should have figured it out by then.

....Wait, wasn't I supposed to be working on something this afternoon?
 
So the CEO was told on his visit that I'm the Chief Engineer, the team in France has been told the same thing but nobody has said anything officially to me.:perservingface:


2/3 down, last one today. Audit went very well, my 5-up boss was on the same plane to the UK as me and told me he was really pleased with it. Turns out the report goes to the CEO before it goes to me, so it's a bit higher-level than I realised. Possibly for the best I only found out afterwards!




For the UK, as soon as India goes independent most of the Empire is on borrowed time. It isn't just the Indian example, the economics were fundamentally based around India being part of the Empire.
India is set up to do better ITTL than in OTL - Congress is more involved in government beforehand, Partition is probably not on the cards (a loose federation instead being probable) and independence may be up to 5 years earlier. How much so is open to question though - the License Raj isn't going away, without Partition they'll have internal communal rather than external troubles, etc.

Hope you get formal notification of your Chief Engineer position soon!

In regards to India, any thoughts on why partition probably isn't on the cards? I thought that by 1940-1941 Jinnah and his Muslim League had settled on the position of a separate state for Indian Muslims to be called Pakistan. If so, then if the British leave India as a loose federation might we then see a massive secession movement and civil war with the attempted secession of the Muslim areas as "Pakistan"? Because if Jinnah and one of the major Muslim organizations in British India were already agitating for a separate state in 1940, it sounds as if inter-communal violence in an independent Federation of India could easily morph into something more akin to the Nigerian Civil War with the Biafran secession attempt rather the type of communal violence we saw within OTL India and Pakistan around the time of independence (in distinction to the Indo-Pakistani War itself).
 
Yes, but I've never seen anything to indicate that it is beyond the experimental stage. I don't think the Japanese Empire had Uranium deposits. And then there is the question of whether the research program (and the results) would have been controlled by the IJA or the IJN.
Theory was the easy part of the Manhattan Project, and was a tiny amount of $$ vs the spending on Oak Ridge and Hanford.
 
In regards to India, any thoughts on why partition probably isn't on the cards? I thought that by 1940-1941 Jinnah and his Muslim League had settled on the position of a separate state for Indian Muslims to be called Pakistan. If so, then if the British leave India as a loose federation might we then see a massive secession movement and civil war with the attempted secession of the Muslim areas as "Pakistan"? Because if Jinnah and one of the major Muslim organizations in British India were already agitating for a separate state in 1940, it sounds as if inter-communal violence in an independent Federation of India could easily morph into something more akin to the Nigerian Civil War with the Biafran secession attempt rather the type of communal violence we saw within OTL India and Pakistan around the time of independence (in distinction to the Indo-Pakistani War itself).
Essentially it's about the power and influence of Congress .vs. that of the Muslim League. My understanding - and it isn't an area of history I'm particularly strong on - is that in 1940 Congress were vastly more powerful than the Muslim League, and a lot of the changes can be traced back to when they walked out of government over Linlithgow's declaration of war on behalf of India without consultation. In OTL there were some sort of negotiations which never patched things up, and Quit India was the result with the Muslim League (who didn't take part) growing in power. ITTL, with things going better for the British but also them seeing the need for a very big land army which needs Indian manpower, both sides are more willing to compromise and the result is that Congress are back in government with the Muslim League back out in the cold.
Once this happens, any independence settlement will be based around what Congress want, which didn't include partition. I think any united India becoming independent ITTL can only be a very loose federal state to start with - not just for religious reasons, but also because the Princely States (notably Hyderabad) aren't going to accept anything much stronger.

Theory was the easy part of the Manhattan Project, and was a tiny amount of $$ vs the spending on Oak Ridge and Hanford.
It's worth noting that the Manhattan Project cost represents a huge amount of wartime urgency and building a mass production system for the weapons. The UK project for instance always envisaged a far smaller arsenal, so would have been proportionately much cheaper. Japan never even got that far, but at least (unlike Germany) they had correctly calculated critical mass!
 
The UK project for instance always envisaged a far smaller arsenal, so would have been proportionately much cheaper
As shown by the cost cutting that could have made the Windscale disaster, far far worse, had not a few sane people objected and greenlit the filters for that dual air-cooled graphite reactor setup.
Without US involvement, the cheap refining of Uranium Ore to pure metal would have been far more expensive, and each reactor would have needed almost 200 tons of uranium metal.
Prewar price was $1000/lbs.
With the US mass production enabled by ISU 'Ames process', it was around $1/lbs
 
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