Can you make Italy great for once?

Jun 2014
Italy has become the laughingstock of World War II for their performance (or lack thereof), but did they truly have to be?
Imagine that you are the head of the Italian Armed Forces, promoted as early as 1922 immediately after the fascist takeover. Mussolini grants you supreme authority to reform, (re)organize and (re)equip the Italian Armed Forces however you desire, so long as the Italian economy can bear it. What will you do differently from our timeline, in order to ensure the maximum effectiveness of the army, navy and air force? And how do you think your improved Italian military would affect World War II?

Please keep in mind:
- All changes must be within the realm of possibility (e.g. Italian economic and industrial limitations must be taken into account).
- Italian politics may not be changed (e.g. Italy must remain fascist and ruled by Mussolini, must align with the Axis and must join World War II - though you may advice Mussolini on when and how to do so).
- Military campaigns and war strategies are yours to decide, but the end goal remains Italian supremacy in the Mediterranean Sea.
Unless someone provides proof that Italian farmers and workers and middle class and or even just the upper class which could sometimes have it's opinion influence everyone else wanted a war with Britain and France I am going to say no.


Ad Honorem
Apr 2011
Georgia, USA
Best thing Mussolini could have done was to copy what Franco did...basically focus on securing his home base.

Keep Libya...explore for oil maybe.
But be prepared to give it up in the 1950's

Allow a blackshirt division to fight in the USSR - provided the Germans paid for and equipped it.

No Desert War
No landing in Scicily
Mussolini holds on to power until he dies in the 1960's or 1970's.

Develop the Italian tourist trade
Export lots of FIAT cars
Jul 2018
The basic problem was that Italy did not prepare for war because Mussolini assured the armed forces that no major war was going to be fought before 1945. The naval historian Giorgio Giorgerini reports of a joint meeting which happened just before the declaration of war, were all the military high brass was basically terrorized by the imminence of a generalized conflict and they kept asking themselves "Why for God's sake!".
With some preparation the situation would have been much different.
Actually, considering the isles of quality and competence that came up during the war, the situation could have been a lot different.
Feb 2018
flashed up on a diff thread several moons ago;
italians did not have any weaponry to hurt the british aka dent a tank or fighterplane 40-41 so maybe developing and mass producing such weapons, that rolled in after summer41, before going off to war in the first place; also trusting teh works of a certain geologict in that libya is harboring oil-resources if the italians would have figured that out before in the late 20s-mid30s _via immense prosperity they prob never would have neede to go off to any war to begin with;

maybe a program like in WW1 in which italians workers(females) went to france to work in the war factories in return of french equipement(helmets etc) workers going to germany and in return receiving german equipement; but lets not forget this all alternate/fantasy history and reality was what it was and ended the correct way;

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