Had Italy kept Libya after WWII, would Libya have subsequently experienced a brutal war of independence like Algeria did?

Jun 2018
377
New Hampshire
#11
Mussolini likely would have responded with the same raw aggression he had used in Ethiopia, poison gas and all. A fascist Italy post World War II likely would have also been a NATO ally as Mussolini was staunchly anti communist. A result likely would have been a proxy war, with the Soviets arming and supporting communist Libyan resistance movements with NATO shoring up its Italian ally.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
18,039
SoCal
#12
OIL , the big difference
and yes , a smaller population make city guerilla harder to sustain and any country partisan activity easier to crush
Algeria had the "Bled" Libya has pretty open ground with a herder occupation
for memory Italy was the first country to use airplane in a military role to crush a Libyan insurrection in 1911
it was mostly from the Senussi tribesmen seen by most coastal Libyans as pirates and raiders of oasis

Italo-Turkish War - Wikipedia

Senussi Campaign - Wikipedia
What's the "Bled"?

This is a pretty funny mistake. Just replying so you can get a notification to correct it so as to avoid confusion :lol:
I was simply pointing out that, AFAIK, legally speaking, Libya had the same status in Italy that Algeria had in France.

I would add a demographic consideration: Italians in the 30's were doing in Libya what they had done in Tunisia in the previous centuries [annoying France ...]: Italian settlers migrated to Libya in remarkable numbers. In 1939 the 13% of the population of Libya was made by Italian settlers.

Since Italy is just on the other side of a not wide sector of the Mediterranean Sea, Italians would have kept on moving to Libya [like they did with Tunisia]. Neutrality in WWII, with the control of a treasure of oil, would have made Italy [even with Mussolini] an interesting potential "partner".

If Mussolini was smart [he wasn't, but let's concede he was ...] he would have sold oil to the fighting powers obtaining even a bit of extra protection by the Royal Navy. In such a context, the Italian population in Libya would have grown more and more. Overall in the region of Tripoli. The only doubt is ... and after the defeat of Germany? Would have the allied powers considered Mussolini tolerable like Franco? This is the pivotal question.

If US, UK and USSR tolerated the Fascist state, it's not exaggerated [think to the tiny population of Libya] to estimate that within 1950 a good 25% of the Libyan population would have been Italian. But, as said concentrated in the Western region of the country and along the coast.

So I can even think that someone like Haftar would have started a kind of liberation war from Benghasi in the 60's. In the period of the fall of the colonial Empires, it would have been a tough war to fight [and not politically correct].

And again, the existence or not of a Fascist regime at Rome in the 60's would have changed a lot the outcome of the conflict.
Do you think that if the Italian Fascists would have militarily defeated Libyan rebels, then they would have subsequently been willing to give Italian citizenship and full equality to Libya's Muslim population?

Also, Yes, without Italian entry into WWII, Libya's Italian population would probably end up being much higher--as you said, 25% sounds perfectly reasonable.
 

AlpinLuke

Ad Honoris
Oct 2011
25,917
Italy, Lago Maggiore
#13
Do you think that if the Italian Fascists would have militarily defeated Libyan rebels, then they would have subsequently been willing to give Italian citizenship and full equality to Libya's Muslim population?

Also, Yes, without Italian entry into WWII, Libya's Italian population would probably end up being much higher--as you said, 25% sounds perfectly reasonable.
You are describing the Albanian context ... Italy "conquered" that country and it allowed the Albanian citizens to have the same right of the Italian citizens ... but it wasn't a conquest. A not irrelevant part of the Albanian establishment wanted to join Italian [like today not a few Albanians speak Italian showing an evident desire to join the Republic]. There is a historical linkage between Albanians and Southern Italy, so this is not surprising.

But Libya was different. Fascism connected the Italian citizenship with the membership of a curious Arab Fascist youth organization [the Italian acronym was GAL]. But it was before of Fascism that there was the real possibility for Libyans to get the Italian citizenship ... Fascism offered [as maximum reward] a kind of second class colonial Italian citizenship ...
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
18,039
SoCal
#14
You are describing the Albanian context ... Italy "conquered" that country and it allowed the Albanian citizens to have the same right of the Italian citizens ... but it wasn't a conquest. A not irrelevant part of the Albanian establishment wanted to join Italian [like today not a few Albanians speak Italian showing an evident desire to join the Republic]. There is a historical linkage between Albanians and Southern Italy, so this is not surprising.
It makes one wonder why exactly no prominent Albanian political party after 1989 actually advocated in favor of joining Italy.

But Libya was different. Fascism connected the Italian citizenship with the membership of a curious Arab Fascist youth organization [the Italian acronym was GAL]. But it was before of Fascism that there was the real possibility for Libyans to get the Italian citizenship ... Fascism offered [as maximum reward] a kind of second class colonial Italian citizenship ...
Why were Fascists hostile towards the idea of giving Libyans first-class Italian citizenship?
 

AlpinLuke

Ad Honoris
Oct 2011
25,917
Italy, Lago Maggiore
#15
It makes one wonder why exactly no prominent Albanian political party after 1989 actually advocated in favor of joining Italy.


Why were Fascists hostile towards the idea of giving Libyans first-class Italian citizenship?
The Albania Prime Minister Edi Rama [who talks Italian as a second mother tongue] probably would carry his country into the Republic, but there is the problem of EU parameters [so its more a European matter]. You should keep in mind that many, many, many Albanians, after the fall of the Communist dictatorship, took a boat to reach Italy [so a good part of Albania is in Italy, actually] ... and in that moment [I report this as a curiosity] Italian Navy made one of the most ridiculous figures ever [the government ordered to a cruiser battleship to "make pressure" in front of Albanian coasts ... that giant warship remained prisoner of a shoal and Albanian tug boats had to help the glorious invincible Italian warship!!!!].

Regarding Fascists and Libyans ... eh ... Fascists were following Nazis with their idea of the superior race. Italians were Aryans! [Even if in Germany they had some doubts ...].
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
18,039
SoCal
#16
The Albania Prime Minister Edi Rama [who talks Italian as a second mother tongue] probably would carry his country into the Republic, but there is the problem of EU parameters [so its more a European matter]. You should keep in mind that many, many, many Albanians, after the fall of the Communist dictatorship, took a boat to reach Italy [so a good part of Albania is in Italy, actually] ... and in that moment [I report this as a curiosity] Italian Navy made one of the most ridiculous figures ever [the government ordered to a cruiser battleship to "make pressure" in front of Albanian coasts ... that giant warship remained prisoner of a shoal and Albanian tug boats had to help the glorious invincible Italian warship!!!!].
Why exactly would the EU have objected to this, though?

Regarding Fascists and Libyans ... eh ... Fascists were following Nazis with their idea of the superior race. Italians were Aryans! [Even if in Germany they had some doubts ...].
Was this also the case in Libya before Hitler came to power in Germany?
 

AlpinLuke

Ad Honoris
Oct 2011
25,917
Italy, Lago Maggiore
#17
Regarding Albania as a further region of Italy ... ask to France ... [it's about a parallel with Corsica]. But this risks to become a sensitive argument.

About Fascist attitude before that Hitler came to power ... it was totally different. Italian Fascists discovered to be Aryan "thanks" to Hitler and his buddies.

But ... original Italian Fascism knew a kind of "variable racism". Fascists didn't like the "black man", but they weren't so racist with Northern African Muslims. It was Nazi Germany to state that Aryans were Aryans ... al the others were .... ****** [censored].
 
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Mar 2015
1,347
Yorkshire
#18
The Libyans lost their first war against Italy but only after a tough struggle. They had their hero and I think he is still a hero today - Omar Muktar. Finally cornered in in 1931 and despatched Italian style - thrown out of an aircraft. The main street in Benghazi was and I believe still is Omar Muktar Street.

Libya was much more backward than Algeria in the 1950s, almost feudal and I have the impression that the Italians had done much less than the French in Algeria to improve education and employment for the indigenous population. The place (Benghazi at least) was still run by a mixture of Egyptians and Italians - a surprising large number were left over from WW2).

They would certainly have rebelled like the Algerians and again it would be the Senussi of Cyrenaica, tough desert tribe and very strict Muslims, who would take the lead.

They would certainly need outside help and it would be logistically much easier for the Egyptians to assist than was the case in Algeria. Just how effective this aid would be is open to question. The Algerians alleged that they only got hot air from Cairo and had to fight with weapons taken from the French.

Logistics for the Italians would be very difficult. There is no rail link between Tripoli and Benghazi and only one road (built by the Italians). Strangely enough although it has huge coast line there are very few decent harbours. Benghazi was minute and Tripoli not much better. The problems suffered by the Afrika Corps would again be in evidence - keeping even a small force supplied in such a huge, empty area is very difficult, very costly and wide open to ambushes. Effective use of air power would be key for the Italians.

Anyway, assuming we have Nasser in power and the sort of independence scenario in the 1950/60s and given a reasonable supply of Egyptian equipment then I think Libyan rebels would have managed to make it so unattractive that eventually the cost of holding the place would simply not be worth the expenditure of Italian blood and money.
 
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sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,379
Sydney
#19
What's the "Bled"?
That's the rugged Algerian countryside , just back from the coast the Atlas range offer much cover ,
to the East are the Aures mountains home of the fierce Kabile people
this is excellent Guerilla country , lots of ravines , the broken ground make the movement of large units difficult

Libya is flat in the Tripolitan West , flat desert in the gulf of Syrte and somewhat more rugged in the East
there is no vegetation cover
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
18,039
SoCal
#20
Regarding Albania as a further region of Italy ... ask to France ... [it's about a parallel with Corsica]. But this risks to become a sensitive argument.
Corsica was French for a couple of centuries, though. Also, no government strongly objected when France purchased Corsica from Genoa. (Some members of the British Parliament did strongly object, but they were in the opposition during this time.)

About Fascist attitude before that Hitler came to power ... it was totally different. Italian Fascists discovered to be Aryan "thanks" to Hitler and his buddies.

But ... original Italian Fascism knew a kind of "variable racism". Fascists didn't like the "black man", but they weren't so racist with Northern African Muslims. It was Nazi Germany to state that Aryans were Aryans ... al the others were .... ****** [censored].
Why can't Italian Fascists go back to their old principles after Hitler is overthrown by the Allies, though?