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So Italy joins the central powers in world war 1.

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  • So Italy joins the central powers in world war 1.

    On ground, i doubt they alpine front vs. France would have been a lot different from alpine front vs. Austria. However on the sea the combined Austro-Hungarian and Italian fleet could have posed a major challenge for the French and British Mediterranean fleets.

    What are your opinions on this matter. Could this effect the outcome of the war in the whole? It seems to me that with italy on their side the victory would be quite likely for the central powers.

  • #2
    this is a possible, if unplausible what if.

    unplausible because of course Italy had very little to gain and a lot to lose by going with Austria-Hungary.... against who in august 1914? Serbia? France? no evident territorial gains to have against both (ok, eprhaps Tunisia - but then Libya was not even secured by Italy) and Nice would be a small piece of land. As for Austria-Hungary, giving up Tyrol or parts of the dalmatian coast would be very very unlikely.

    plus, italian public was at the time francophile and pro-british (rememebr that it was british money and french support that helped Italy become a country).

    ok, but let's assume that little silly king that was Victor-Emmanuel III does get the alll excited and gets a governement pro war with the Central Poweres, what woudl happen.

    short turn (i.e. Summer of 1914) -> French Fleet would still escort it's troops from North Africa to Marseilles. the Adriatic would not be interdicted and thus Austrian-Hungarian and Italian light vessels could strike on some shipping in central Med.
    Italian forces, badly equipped and armed woudl take months (perhaps to the next spring to face the french in the alps) - France did keep an army on the alps until late 1914 anyway. an italian attempt to cross the alps in 1914 would be a folly, probably even recognised by the Italian silly generals of the time. a spring 1915 italian offensive agaisnt the french would be a disaster.

    perhaps the British would try an "Italian Gallipoli" in seizing Genova and/or Rome sometime in early 1915. probably knocking Italy out of the war then...

    but the biggest impact of Italy joining the Central Powers would be to allow most of the Austrian-Hungarian garrisons of Tyrol and Slovenia (two armies) to join the fight against Serbia/montenegro or in Galicia against Russia or even on the french front in the late summer of 1914, possibly tilting any balance in either of those fronts.
    "Freedom cannot exist without discipline, self-discipline, and rights cannot exist without duties. Those who do not observe their duties do not deserve their rights."--Oriana Fallaci


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