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Meridione (or Mezzogiorno), officially the Italian Republic (Italian: Repubblica Italiana) and also known informally as Sicily, is a country consisting of the Southern and central parts of the Italian Peninsula. Since the Second Sicilian War, the republic has undergone significant change; entering into diplomatic relations with other Italian states. A unitary semi-presidential republic, its capital is the historic city of Palermo.
The modern Italian Republic was born out of pragmatic cooperation between the regional authorities and the gentlemen clans of Palermo and Eastern Sicily, giving birth to a singular and peculiar state.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 2.1 Pre-Doomsday
- 2.2 A Necessary Agreement
- 2.3 The End and The Start of An Era
- 2.4 Consolidation and stabilization
- 2.5 Preparation For The Reclamation of the Mainland
- 2.6 Operation "30 Marzo"
- 2.7 Operation Bon
- 2.8 After The Storm
- 2.9 An Unexpected Visit
- 2.10 Age of Exploration - Western Mediterranean
- 2.11 The Age of Exploration - Eastern Mediterranean
- 3 Government
- 4 Economy
- 5 Education
- 6 Culture and society
- 7 Religion
- 8 Media and communications
- 9 Tourism
- 10 Military and Armed Forces
- 11 Law enforcements
- 12 Foreign relations
The word "Meridione" is derived from the term meridiem, which in Latin indicates the midday time and from which the initial M is derived to indicate the south in some cartographic maps. This is because for those living in the northern hemisphere the sun always lies to the south. As a result, the term has historically come to denote southern Italy and has become the name the nation refers to itself as, in a similar manner as the people of the United Kingdom refer to themselves as British due to the isle of Britain.
Mezzogiorno is an alternate name for the region, with the same connotations as Meridione. In a similar fashion to France's Midi ("midday" or "noon" in French), the Italian term Mezzogiorno refers to the intensity and the position of sunshine at midday in the South of the Italian peninsula. The term later came into vogue after the annexation of the Bourbon Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, together with the other Italian states, and the subsequent Italian unification of 1861.
The region of Sicily was created in 1946 after the Second World War, the first among the other 19 and the first autonomous region. Even though its foundation is liked to Cosa Nostra, figures like Calogero Vizzini, Giuseppe Russo and others supported the creation of a Sicilian region as it would give more power to the region itself and take power away from Rome.
In the sixties and seventies, the First Mafia War between various clans of Cosa Nostra and the clans of Palermo took place. In this same period, the Mafia would use their power to influence local politics, making use of procurement to enter the construction sector of the island while also continuing to kill unwanted public figures like policemen, judges and politicians opposed to the Mafia or clergy hostile to Cosa Nostra and so on. The situation would become even more intense in the early eighties, with the assassination of the incumbent President of the Region of Sicily, Piersanti Mattarella and the assassination of Carlo Alberto della Chiesa, commander of the Legione Carabinieri Sicilia. Most importantly, it would see the beginning of the Second Mafia War between the Corleonesi and the Palermitani, a war would continue even after Doomsday.
A Necessary Agreement
In September of 1983 the world was lit on fire by the atomic destruction caused by American and Soviet warheads, causing the collapse of entire countries, including the Italian Republic, due to its role as a major ally of the US and its strategic location on the doorstep of Yugoslavia. It witnessed losses of cities like Rome, Naples, Turin, Milan and others and the complete dissolution of any form of national government, forcing the uptake of this task by local authorities across what remained of Italy. This was the case in the Region of Sicily too - the largest island in the Mediterranean and home to nearly five million people before Doomsday; it was also home to the Cosa Nostra.
Sicily had already been shaken by the events of 1982, and now stood shocked by the events of Doomsday. The regional government of Sicily, headed by the democristiano Calogero Lo Giudice understood the situation was dire and could become even worse if immediate action wasn’t taken in order to give safety to the island and spare it from any destruction caused by the nuclear war. Knowing the connections that Cosa Nostra and the other clans held, on the 20th September Lo Giudice would convene a special session of the regional assembly, inviting Gerlando Alberti, Domenico Rancadore, Rosario Spatola, Gaspare Caruana, Ignazio and Antonino Salvo, Michele Greco and the politicians Calogero Mannino and Vito Ciancimino in taking part. Also attending were the military commanders of the armed forces on the island, the commissar of the Police in Sicily, the commander of the Carabinieri and the commander of NAS Sigonella James Trukerson. The purpose of the special session was figuring out a solution on what to do and what expect from the following months, as confirmation of no answer from the government in Rome was presented to the session a few days after convening as well as reports of refugees approaching the shores of the island for protection, claiming that they came from Rome, Taranto, Naples or other targeted areas; their cities now all gone.
After much discussion and debate, it was decided the regional authorities would come to an agreement with the moderate faction of Cosa Nostra and other Sicilian Clans; there would be a general amnesty for every cosca part of Cosa Nostra and other clans willing to help, with the resources of the mafia used by the region to avoid famine. In exchange, the clans would be able to turn their previous criminal activities into state-sanctioned private companies, allowing them to take part in public and political life of the new state in an even greater capacity than before. When word reached the military commanders, they were horrified to see agreements carried out with the Mafia, vehemently arguing that these should be refused. To their concerns, Gerlando Alberti replied with a terrible but logical argument, “Signori, sè volete farci fuori fatelo pure, ma neanche voi riuscirete a sconfiggere Totò Riina e i Corleonesi dopo, noi stiamo argomentando e parlando con voi come da gentiluomini, Riina vi avrebbe uccisi tutti alla prima obiezione, insieme a noi Palermitani." (Gentlemen, if you want to kill us [for this] then go ahead and do it. But not even you will be able to defeat Totò Riina and the Corleonesi afterward. We are arguing and talking to you like gentlemen, Riina would have killed you all at the first objection, together with us Palermitans).
With this statement, the military finally agreed to come to an agreement with the clans, but not before presenting a final request to eliminate the Corleone Clan, and Salvatore Riina along with them, root and stem. Toto Riina had managed to kill or exile most of the old families of Palermo to the United States or Brazil, now the Palermitani’s remnants would finally get revenge on the Corleonesi through legal actions. A trap would be set by the President of the region for arresting him and with the help of the soldati of the Palermitani, now enlisted in the Sicilian National Guard, would in the meantime conduct raids on the properties of the Corleonesi.
The End and The Start of An Era
The trap was set for the 2nd of October. Riina was invited to the home of Vito Ciancimino under the pretense of talking about business and the possibility of conducting a coup d’etat against the Sicilian government and eliminating every opponent in the meantime, including both political, military and adversaries of the Corleonesi. Riina was unaware, however, that Vito was working with the government and his whole conversation was recorded on tape. Moments after the meeting concluded, squads of the GiS (Gruppo Intervento Speciale) stormed the villa and arrested Riina on multiple charges, which included the murders of Stefano Bontate, Salvatore Inzerillo, Giuseppe Inzerillo, Emanuele Basile, Giuseppe Russo, Carlo Alberto della Chiesa, Piersanti Mattarella and countless others.
With Riina now in prison and every property of the Corleonesi now in the hand of the state, it was decided to use all the wealth accumulated by the Corleonesi to keep the general situation as close to normal as possible and to avoid the spread of destruction rumoured to be happening in other parts of Europe. However, many people remained against working with the Mafia, with some secretly escaping out of Sicily in fear of their lives, particularly those who strongly opposed the Mafia. This included the judges Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, Carlo Palermo, policemen Antonino Cassarà, journalist Mauro Rostagno, professor Sergio Mattarella, archbishop of Palermo Salvatore Pappalardo and many others like military commanders who disliked the idea of serving under a joint mafia-civilian government.
According to the census between 5,000 and 100,000 refugees left Sicily between 1983 and 1985. They would not be stopped by the government, with Lo Giudice stating, “Non è mio dovere forzare chiunque di rimanere in Sicilia, se vogliono lasciare l’isola peggio per loro, finiranno in mezzo al mare o uccisi da banditi non appena metteranno piede a terra”. This was decided on the conclusion that it would be a waste of resources going after them or trying to stop them from leaving Sicily. Contrary to the affirmations of Calogero Lo Giudice, thousands would survive by taking refuge in Malta, Balearic, Corfù and others - with these refugees later becoming the founding fathers of the Society for Italian Reunification or SIR.
In the following years the situation would stabilise pretty quickly. By 1985, Sicily had restored their electrical generating capabilities and continued to stabilise further. Food rationing, however, was still in place and people were advised to try to start producing food for themselves. In this, the mafia would come in handy by giving the government the resources necessary for a successful farming industry such as: fertilizers, seeds, terrains and other resources needed for the region to survive better than other nations. In this they were also aided by significantly higher rainfall initially, compared to previous years, which allowed for a greater amount of land to be put under plough. This also would create problems however, as major rivers such as the Salso and Simeto rivers regularly burst their banks during the winters between '83 and '87 and thus many farms were flooded. This additional rainfall did mean, however, that summers the first few years after doomsday were noticeably cooler but had no other major impact on the crops of the island. The confiscation of Corleonesi properties also helped, providing housing for refugees to the island. It was also during this time Sicily started to pick up radio signals from Sardinia, Tunisia, Balearics, Malta and other nearby places. The government still deemed that it was too dangerous to send expeditionary parties out into the Mediterranean, so decided to just begin radio broadcasting talks with surviving nations - establishing the first relationships with authorities of foreign nations.
On the 25th December 1985, after two years of no response from Rome and the clear destruction of the Italian government, the Regional Assembly declared the establishment of the provisional government of Sicily, with only a handful of deputies voting no to the motion. The public reaction to the declaration was mixed and contrasted from person to person; the establishment on the other hand would cheer their newfound freedom as a sovereign administration independent from the Roman government. But for most Sicilians this was a sad event, as millions had perished under the atomic fire.
On the same day as in the year 1130 when the Kingdom of Sicily was proclaimed under King Roger the Second, who had previously been the Great Count of Sicily, the government declared itself the successor of the Italian government in Rome and the new nation of Sicily was born. The president of the assembly Giuseppe Insalaco said at the inauguration of the National Assembly: “Che benedica Iddio ed ispiri i voti del Parlamento indirizzati a questo santo fine; ch'Egli riguardi benigno la terra di Sicilia, e la congiunga ai grandi destini della libera, indipendente ed unità”.
Consolidation and stabilization
After the declaration of independence a constituent assembly was declared with the task of writing a constitution for the new state. It took three years to write this constitution; modeled after the pre-Doomsday Italian constitution but with a semi-presidential system which was based on the French model, the new legislature which would be known as “The National Assembly” would be divided between the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. The offices of President, Prime Minister, Supreme Court of the Republic and the magistrature would also be established, giving the new state better political structure and administration, while at the same separating the three powers from each other. In reality, actual political power would be given to the clans, who are now deemed common citizens and would be excited to take part in the direct political life of the new state.
The new elections occurred in 1986, with no need to rig the results as the population voted en masse for the Democrazia Cristiana. Only a minor part of the electorate voted for the Communist Party or the restored Movement for the Independence of Sicily. The first President of the Republic elected was Salvo Lima, a close associate of Cosa Nostra and known as an mediator between them and Giulio Andreotti. Ignazio Salvo, a businessman linked to various clans of Palermo was then nominated Prime Minister by the President. However, although the positions of power were occupied by people in cahoot with the Mafia, the rest of the government remained composed of technocrats and various politicians that had served in the regional government before doomsday. Many other affiliated politicians or mafiosi themselves also were elected to other offices in both national and local government.
In the same year, the government struck a deal with the commander of NAS Sigonella over the future of the base and what to do about it, as it was starting to become clear that the United States was gone momentarily, or perhaps forever according to the pessimistics. As per the agreement, the base, military personnel, equipment and vehicles would be transferred to the authority of the government and in return all American citizens would receive Sicilian citizenship, along with their descendants. An initial copy of the agreement stated that citizenship would be transferred to the sons of all American personnel, an amusing translation error which would be fixed before the final agreement was signed. It has since become somewhat of an inside joke among the descendents of the original American personnel to refer to themselves as the "sons of America". Along with the citizenship provision, a special municipality would be created for the Americans named “Sigonella”, with all necessary amenities and the look of an American small town. The government, when establishing the Regiment of Naval Infantry would further honour the Americans by naming it the “George S. Patton”, in honor of the general that liberated Sicily from the Fascists.
Preparation For The Reclamation of the Mainland
Even with strong harvests, the Sicilian Government would continue a policy of both isolation and the gradual end of rationing, with rationing on essentials ending in 1992 and the complete end of rationing taking place in 1998. However, in the following years after the establishment of Sicily, various Italo-nationalist deputies would propose bills in support of the complete annexation of all Italy. These bills often included the caveat that no other nation, even if it is an Italian-remnant successor state, has any right to occupy territories of former Italy, as Sicily would view themselves as the official successor state of the old Italian Republic. Encouraged by these proposals, the president would call a meeting of the government; asking the minister of defense Gen. Biagio Cacciola whether a reclamation of the Italian Peninsula was possible and whether it could succeed. General Cacciola would affirm the possibility, but added it was first necessary to evaluate the current situation. The logistics of the task would need to be looked into, as well as how much of Italy could be supported by the current republic, which would dictate how much of Italy could be reclaimed before the republic would have to stop expanding. The president agreed, and made it clear to the general it was fine if not all of Italy could be reclaimed.
The Chief of Staff took several months in creating a proper plan for the expedition into mainland Italy, providing an estimate of maintenance cost of the equipment needed, fuel stocks needed and other logistical matters such as supplying the troops carrying out the mission as well as how many people could be potentially fed on the mainland by Sicily. The generals hypothesized that Southern Italy would both be the most intact region of the former nation and also one of the easiest to conquer with the support of local mafia clans and the stability the republic would offer. It was thought just the existence of a stable state would be enough to see people joining voluntarily in places such as the central regions, and in particular Lazio would be semi deserted with only few cities like Civitavecchia, Gaeta, Viterbo thought to have survived the blast from any nuclear device. Northern Italy was thought to have been hit the worst by the bombs, but likely also contained the highest concentration of surviving city-states or local authorities and thus was deemed the most difficult to be controlled. The generals also estimated that Sicily would be able to only control central and southern Italy, together with Sardinia, before the resources of the state would dry out.
Operation "30 Marzo"
Now with a plan, the government reintroduced conscription for the men between the ages 18 and 30, both to create a sense of identity among the younger generation and to prepare the army for the expedition. Men who worked in industries deemed essential by the state would be exempt from conscription however, and draftees would be chosen through the use of a draw. Thanks to the absorption of US forces in Sicily, which included their equipment and vehicles, Sicily had the clear long-term edge in a possible fight against an equal opponent in northern Italy, although this possibility was deemed low or negligible by the generals as they believed after having evaluated the overall evaluation of Italy that Sicily was the only country with a currently functioning government present in former Italy. The army began training and military exercises of land invasions in the winter of 1987. However, the real operation would begin in February-March of 1988. Codenamed “30 March”, it was a reference to the actions of Joachim Murat, the King of Naples from 1808 to 1815 and a promoter of Italian Unification who managed to conquer all southern and central Italy before being defeated by the Austrians.
In the first week of February, Operation "30 March" would begin with the crossing of the Messina Strait and the disembarking of Sicilian troops around and in the city of Reggio Calabria. Sicilian scouts had previously visited the city and managed to establish contact with its inhabitants, but this was Palermo's first serious step in annexing the city and the region along with it. The region of Calabria had been devastated not by the radioactivity produced by the nuclear fallout but by the 'Ndrangheta and the infighting between clans from 1983 to 1987, with most of the region controlled by either city councils that ruled cities like Catanzaro, Vibo Valentia, Cosenza or in the hands of the few 'Ndrangheta that survived the fights like Reggio Calabria, Gioia Tauro, Villa San Giovanni and others. Meanwhile, the interior was a collection of villages or towns governed by its inhabitants, controlled by bandits or simply abandoned because it had been impossible to live there.
The military would setup a bridgehead at Villa San Giovanni before annexing it, with diplomats sent to annex the territory peacefully. If local authorities were deemed too stubborn or hostile, the military would be sent in to either arrest or kill them. With this accomplished, the expedition started to advance further inland until reaching Gioia Tauro, which was being governed by the Molé family, who had just recently ended a war against the Piromalli clan. When military units were seen approaching the city, the Molé family ordered the fortification of the city to prepare it for battle. The military attempted to contact them through a civilian to negotiate a surrender but Domenico Molè killed the negotiator and ordered his men to open fire, thinking that it was just a trick by the military to kill them all later after their surrender. This kicked off the battle for Gioia Tauro and thanks to the use of proper military tactics and the poor organization of the clan, the military managed to take the city within a couple of hours. With the surrender of Domenico Molè, squads from Gioia Tauro were sent east to scouting inner Calabria and to try to reach Locri.
At the same time, Reggio Calabria was being occupied and a civilian government was set up. It was discovered that Reggio Calabria was under the power of Paolo De Stefano, but the city remained in serious crisis as there wasn’t enough food and the clad held very loose control over the city. Thus, after diplomatic talks, Paolo De Stefano agreed to relinquish control and Reggio was transferred to the civilian authority of the republic. With this, the military began advancing again and by Mid-February controlled all of the former region, excluding some internal areas difficult to maintain such as the Aspromonte, where bandits were the de facto rulers.
Southern Campania, Basilicata and Apulia
When the army regrouped near Castrovillari, its commanders decided to split the expedition force into two columns; one would head west towards Naples while the other crossed the border into Basilicata and then advanced into Apulia and its capital, Bari. The two army columns would report different experiences, with both regions affected differently by Doomsday and what came after.
Army Group A discovered and reported eastern Campania, mainly the ex-provinces of Avellino, Salerno and Potenza, had been destroyed not only because of the destruction from Doomsday and the following hysteria but also by the earthquake of Irpinia, many areas still abandoned, left to rotten and taken over by nature eight years after the earthquake. Wandering animals and looters or bandit camps were observed and various reports confirmed the existence of a return to a semi-nomadic lifestyle in the areas that had been affected by the earthquake. The only occurrences of a functioning city or village was when army columns found cities like Benevento, Agropoli, Salerno, Melfi and few others which still had a functioning government, with these cities and regions in southern Campania and in Basilicata immediately joining the republic when its existence was confirmed. The region would take years to recover and would be a priority of future governments to repair the damage for years to come.
Army Group B on the other hand encountered a very different situation. Most of the cities in eastern Basilicata had been spared by the earthquake, but this had not made the situation any easier for them. The area was plagued by banditism that harassed the few remaining population centres, with the only town of any significance found being Matera. Much of the surviving population of the region had found refuge in the Sassi, a series of caves which they used as homes. The refugees living in these caves had been forced to return to a subsistence lifestyle, not too dissimilar to that of those whole lived in the region in the 11th century. In Apulia they found the irradiated remains of the city of Taranto which had once been home to the Italian fleet and as a result, the city and its surrounding area was immediately closed off to anyone except government officials and military officers. In the rest of the region, however, the situation looked better as it had managed to survive in some manner, with the Bari establishing control over much of the former region. They quickly entered into diplomatic talks with Sicily, with Sicilian representatives claiming that with their survival, it was now their duty to restore the Italian Republic. After several heated debates the President of Apulia finally relented and agreed to join the new republic as it had been made clear the benefits outweighed trying to go it alone. Thus, by April the Sicilian Republic had managed to establish control over southern Campania, Basilicata and Calabria.
Northern Campania, Molise and Abruzzo
After a quick regroup of the army columns, which allowed for the stabilization of the region that had recently been brought back into the fold, the government in Palermo announced it would formally annex the new territories for the Republic and begin to incorporate them into the existing structure of the nation, in a bid to legitimize their new conquests. Military operations would resume in the first week of April as the expedition force began advancing toward northern Campania, Molise and Abruzzo, with the army continuing their operations as two separate columns. Column A would advance north on the western part of the peninsula while column B advanced on the eastern part, with the two columns continuing to give a general report on what they found and what has changed since 1983 to central command in a bid to better coordinate movements. The columns would also now be ordered to divide into smaller groups and spread out to cover more territory, while at the same time being within quick marching range of each other in case one group was attacked and needed reinforcement from other columns;
Army group A began the next phase of operations on the 12th of April after a short stop in Benevento to gather supplies and prepare for the advance on the rest of Campania and Lazio. Their main objective for this phase was to secure the rest of the region and present a clear report on what conditions in said region were. The column quickly realised this part of Campania was more stable than its southern counterpart, yet it still had its fair share of problems as the first functioning city the scouts came across was Caserta, home to the Reggia di Caserta, which had been miraculously spared any looting as it was the residence of Casalesi boss Antonio Bardellino. When the scouts arrived at the outskirts of the city, they found that most of it lay abandoned or had been transformed into outposts for the Casalesi across the old city and when the group of soldiers was spotted by the men of the Casalesi, they stopped them and demanded they explain themselves to the Prince of Caserta.
Since the war, Bardellino had proclaimed himself as Prince of the Principality of Caserta and had managed to establish control over the city and his clan, as well as extend his control unto Aversa, Castel Volturno and Mondragone. When he received the soldiers of Army Group A in his throne room, he was surprised to see well dressed, well equipped and well fed soldiers and found it impossible to believe they were some band of rogue soldiers that wanted to join his force. Thus, he asked them where they hailed from and when the soldiers responded Sicily, it sparked surprise within the prince, who could not help but further ask questions such as who was in charge, what state is Sicily in now and who they represented? After the soldiers responded in full to the Prince's questions, Bardellino declared he welcomed any affiliate of Cosa Nostra, and stated he would join Sicily on the spot if he and his clan would have a position of command in this new republic. The officers informed him that this was possible and thus left with the blessing of God and a representative from the clan.
The soldiers returned to the main camp outside the city, and made it clear they had been given the go-ahead for a civilian administration to be set up. This news was radioed to Sicily and over the coming months administrators would be sent to establish Sicilian control over this region. Their job done, the military continued their advance toward Naples to scout the city and note the damage caused by the bombs; finding the city mostly destroyed with the approximate epicenter of the bomb near the international airport in Naples. As no crater was observed, it was presumed the attack had been an airburst. The entire city seemed abandoned and was thought to be too irradiated to be explored but the rest of the region was brought under Sicilian control fairly easily and in a short span of time. Thus, the army proceeded to set up their HQ in the city of Salerno.
Army Group B instead found the region of Molise to be one of the few that was spared from the general destruction and lawlessness generally present in the rest of the south, with the region's populace living in a manner similar to those in Matera, albeit more organized. The government of Molise had also managed to remain in control of Campobasso, although their authority only covered the city itself and the surrounding countryside. It was also soon clear the government of Molise also fielded a decent defense force based on the Carabinieri forces present in the region before Doomsday, with most of them armed with M1 Garand or Beretta BM-59 rifles. The region depended on livestock and agriculture and tended to trade with cities nearby which included L’Aquila, Isernia, Termoli, Lanciano and Pescara.
The soldiers explained to the administration of Molise that they represented the provisional government in Sicily as their regional government survived the collapse of Italy and declared themselves the provisional government of Italy as a result. The mayor of Campobasso welcomed the soldiers with joy, making it clear they were welcome to stay for as long as they wanted, and following a brief discussion with the rest of the municipal council the city of Campobasso agreed to become part of provisional Sicilian government, bringing the inhabitants of Molise under their protection.
After dispatching an envoy of Sicilian soldiers to Termoli and Isernia, the march northward resumed. The situation in Abruzzo was found to be somewhat manageable but unlike Molise problems with banditry were rife along with the presence of a huge influx of refugees from Rome. The soldiers found quite a few inhabited centers, as previously mentioned by the Campobassani, in the cities of L’Aquila, Lanciano, and Pescara with each city having a functioning government, but the situation in each city was fairly similar compared to each other.
Lanciano had a communal council composed of a mayor and other important officers, while L’Aquila had come under the authority of the Church. Following doomsday, the then mayor Tullio De Rubeis had been unable to withstand the psychological stress he had been forced to endure as mayor during the first week following the attack, committing suicide and leaving only a letter explaining his reasons and apologising to those he disappointed within it. The church proceeded to step in post-doomsday and played an important role in giving assistance to refugees. The authority that Archbishop Carlo Martini represented following the death of De Rubeis meant the council would decide to nominate Marini to become the next mayor of the city; a nomination he accepted with honour, promising to do his best in providing comfort to everyone. Once mayor, he would expand the power of the city council and slowly replace councilmen with clergymen.
Martini would die in 1986 after nominating Mario Peressin to be his successor. Already co-Archbishop and vice-Archbishop after '83, Peressin was the one to encounter the soldiers of the provisional government in Sicily. Stating that they were on a mission to liberate Italy from anarchy and unite it once more, the archbishop give his blessing for the success of this noble cause, accepting L’Aquila would become part of the republic. He warned, however, the city of Pescara was a hub for criminals and bandits and that their leader, an ex-policeman turned criminal was a ruthless and evil man.
After scouting parties confirmed the validity of this information, the military launched a full scale assault on Pescara in early March, proceeding to conquer the city within a week and executing most of the criminals and bandits present. Their leader, Giacomo Lucchetta, was sent to Campobasso to be judged by a military tribunal and was found guilty of various charges and executed. By mid March all of the south was in the hands of the provisional government. With a solid grip on southern Italy the Chief of Staff chose to evaluate their position, deciding to temporarily hold military operations to consolidate the regions brought under their control and restore order. The first step in this would be to try to restore basic services and repair any of damage done by war and negligence that they could.
Lazio, Umbria and Marche
After several months of relative inactivity in southern Italy as the army focused on restoring order, eliminating bandits in the countryside and rebuilding the road system between the different regions, the Sicilian Army would begin its march toward central Italy with one army group passing trough Lazio and the other toward Marche and Umbria before eventually meeting in Southern Tuscany and combining to continue the advance unto Tuscany.
Army Group A crossed the old border between Campagna and Lazio on August 9th, immediately noticing the near complete desolation of the region with the exception of a few cities. Most of the region was just empty, with even less bandit activity than Southern Campania. One of the first inhabited settlements the army group came across was the Abbey of Montecassino, which was founded in 529 by San Benedetto da Norcia and was the oldest abbey in Italy. It had been severely damaged in 1944 by the Allied bombardments, but even following Doomsday the structure would survive and become known as a place of safety, well protected against any danger. The military entered the monastery with a good guess on who would be inhabiting it and found a group of survivors had, together with the monks, set up a community based on the structure of an old monastery; a place of knowledge and safety and thus the Sicilians were surprised to find every child present was able to red and write. The officers proceeded to explain their intentions to Fabio Bernardo D'Onorio, explaining Lazio was now under the control of the government of Palermo. The survivors informed the officers Rome was severely irradiated and pretty much non-existent before the military bid farewell to the group and headed north toward the city of Frosinone.
The military followed the old A2 highway until they came across a section blocked by cars. Searching the vehicles, the soldiers would find personal objects and the belongings of many families; one of the first horrible sights of what the Romans had to endure in the first hours after Doomsday.
An emotionally shaken Army Group A arrived at Frosinone where they found the city controlled by a council of citizens, with most of the city abandoned apart from the old city which was observed to be well fortified. However, the soldiers learnt that many had died of radiation poisoning, with many newborns born with deformities or born already dead. Seeing this, the officers with unanimous support from the army offered immediate economical and medicinal aid and the chance to join Sicily, to which the citizens gladly accepted as for the first time there was a chance their suffering would ease. Leaving behind many field medics who would train those willing to learn on first aid and other basic medical skills, the military would then begin the march on Rome, marching along the coast towards the city of Latina.
Before 1983, Latina had been the main city in southern Lazio but had now become home to a combination of bandits and neo-fascists, led by self-proclaimed Duce Stefano Soderini. The military initially would try to talk with Soderini on annexing the town peacefully but after the killing of an envoy and the wounding of another, the order was given to attack and kill everyone who opened fire on the soldiers. Once the city was liberated, it was found the fascists had set up a forced labour system where women and girls as young as 14 were chosen to serve as prostitutes for the ruling class while the remainder of the population, including children as young as 13, forced to serve as labourers. Soldiers came across a large storage facility in which they found a gruesome and truly horrible scene; the floor was completely covered with little bones and decomposed bodies, with the facility being used as a mortuary. Many of the soldiers who witnessed what was inside cried while others were observed just sitting on the ground staring at the sky or reciting a prayer for each and every lost little soul. The bodies would later be collected and respectfully buried in a few small mass graves, with hand crafted markings denoting the graves.
Such an event deserved justice, and an officer and his regiment of soldiers took it upon themselves to provide this. In front of the whole town, the captured militia and ruling class would be marched out and made to stand in a row before being shot by a firing squad. Following this, another row would be brought out and forced to stand where the previous dead lay in sight of the crowd gathered to watch the executions. No mercy would be given to such men. With the execution of the last culprit, the bodies would be collected and buried in an unmarked mass grave, to the grim cheers of those watching. When news of this reached Sicily, army headquarters responded with commissioning a new medal for the the soldiers responsible in capturing the city, with commendation given to the officer and his regiment in carrying out the executions.
After the events that had taken place, the officers of Army Group A felt relaxing the strict non-fraternisation policy to be in the soldiers' best interest, although it was made clear that anyone found raping would be sentenced to the martial court. This allowed the soldiers some much needed rest before continuing their march. After resting for a few days the army group began marching toward the Urbe to understand how badly it had been hit. This was when they began to encounter a few makeshift camps made by the survivors of Rome, who were understandably surprised to find military scouts so close to what had once been the eternal city. The survivors were informed the soldiers hailed from Sicily; their mission being to reunite Italy. The leader of the campsite bluntly informed the soldiers Italy was doomed and dead and there was no reason to try to recreate it, but the soldiers were quick to rebut it was their holy mission to carry this out, in honour of everyone who had died in 1983. The soldiers would set up in the abandoned city of Pomezia which was deemed safe enough from any radioactivity, with their main objectives being to find any survivors and determine if the outskirts of Rome remained inhabited.
The scouts would start to head north and within a couple of hours began to see the first shanty towns on the shores of the Tiber. The Romans living in these towns informed them that Rome lay mostly abandoned, with only scavengers or those desperate enough going into the city from time to time - but none ever return. This intel was immediately communicated to high command, who deemed it necessary to close off Rome. Ingeniously, the old highway ring around the city was thus used as a makeshift fenced wall around the city. Makeshift watchtowers and camps were built at every bridge leading to Rome and used to patrol the ring. This makeshift wall would come to be known as the Ring or l’Anello and by the turn of the new millennium be updated with a real metal fenced wall, watch towers, radio operators and checkpoints. Due to this the city of Rome would be left intact and abandoned since 1983.
After the completion of the makeshift wall, the soldiers proceeded to march north before reaching the city of Civitavecchia, one of the cities part of the so called “United Communities of Rome”. A collective union formed by various city-states like Civitavecchia, Bracciano, Fiano Romano, Monterotondo and others, as standard the military offered the union a chance to join the provisional government of Sicily, and following many debates and reassurances that the government would restore basic services and help in reconstruction as well as generally restore order in the region, the commune accepted. Thus the entire former region of Lazio was now under the control of Palermo.
It was just north of Lazio that evidence of another survivor state with effective government was found. On August 27th, near Lake Bolsena a group of soldiers on a recon mission from Army Group A found the presence of a small military campsite near the city of Acquapendente. It was clear this was an active campsite, as the campfire had been lit just hours ago and a flag had been raised on the pennant of the camp, which they realised was that of Tuscany. Thus, the men decided to wait and see who will appear.
After several hours of waiting a group of Tuscan soldiers came back from a reconnaissance near the city of Bolsena, finding their camp occupied by troops who flew the Sicilian flag. Deciding to not interact with them, they instead informed Florence on what was happening. When the Tuscan soldiers eventually made their way back they found Sicilian soldiers still occupying their camp. After an intense moment were both sides pointed their guns at each other, cooler heads prevailed and both calmed down and began explaining who they were and what their motives were. The Tuscans explained Tuscany had survived the nuclear apocalypse and was able to set up a government, while also informing the Sicilians they weren’t the only survivor state as there was also one in Genoa, one in Cuneo and and another in Venice. The Sicilians in turn informed their counterparts that their regional government had survived and thus it was their destiny to unite Italy under one flag and bring back the tricolor. This caused mixed feelings within the Tuscan squad, some were happy to hear this while others utterly refused, believing Italy had died in 1983 and nothing could return Italy to what it had been before the Apocalypse. The Sicilians agreed, but stated a united Italy would at least benefit the surviving population. After a brief and respectful farewell, the respective forces returned to their command centres to report the experience, which led to the immediate dispatch of diplomats from Sicily to serve as emissaries to Tuscany in a bid to start a diplomatic relationship between Palermo and Florence.
Army group B encountered a very different and much more stable reality, although this didn't necessarily mean without any danger. The regions through which they advanced, with the exception of a few areas, were covered with bandits or rogue former soldiers. The army group began operations on August 9th, leaving their base in Alba Adriatica and advancing north to reach the border with Emilia-Romagna before going west toward Umbria. Their reports soon confirmed these two regions were much safer than Lazio with some degree of regional power remaining in firm hands, especially in Umbria. On the other hand, in the Marche the interior had been mostly lost.
One of the first inhabited cities the soldiers came across was San Benedetto del Tronto, with the city under the control of the Republic of Ancona as the regional government had manage to survive Doomsday fairly intact. Over the next few years however, it had been forced out of the interior of the region and now controlled only the coast. The army group was stopped by a contingent of the Anconian Army in San Benedetto, who escorted Sicilian envoys to Ancona to be received by the Doge of Ancona; Guido Monina. The officers explained who they were and their motives, explaining that Palermo had started a campaign of unification. The Doge was very impressed, stating Ancona would gladly join the new republic if it would provide economical assets and investment, with the Doge of course becoming the governor of this newly incorporated region. Their job done, the army group proceeded toward Umbria, with the eventual goal of reaching Tuscany.
In the countryside of the Marche relatively fewer bandit camps were found compared to southern Italy. Near the Umbrian border, they spotted a group of soldiers who looked similar to themselves. When contact was made and the soldiers asked who they were, it was found that these were soldiers of the Umbrian Republic. Umbria had been one of the few region of Italy that managed to retain a government and survive, but was now plagued by a refugee crisis due to the massive number of Romans refugees. Soldiers were escorted to Perugia were they found the city in a tremendous state, crammed with refugees and were soon made aware this situation was mirrored in other cities of Umbria. The officers were introduced to the president of the republic, Gen. Domenico Rossi, who was the Podestà of the Republic after the regional council had been disbanded in 1984, which was followed by Rossi enforcing a quasi-totalitarian rule trying to deal with the refugee crisis from Rome. Following a chat with the commanding officer of his army Lt. Rolando Moschini, the general decided to join the new republic in exchange for aid for the refugees. After Palermo was informed of the decision, the general was offered the chance to either serve within the Sicilian forces as a general or resign his commission and serve as the governor of Umbria with a re-established regional council supported by Sicily. Although Rossi had ruled in a dictatorial manner, his aim had been to help his people. Thus, seeing the opportunity provided, Rossi chose to resign and take charge as governor, with the regional council providing effective support as competent men were chosen to staff the body.
The commanding forces were very happy to see most of the Italian peninsula reunited, and with the discovery of Tuscany with a functional government the military operations would be halted down until further orders, this for clean up Latium of any bandit or dangerous town and also for consolidate their gain, by the 4th September all Central Italy was under the provisional Sicilian government.
The government under Salvo Lima would decide to halt any military operation for the being moment and try a diplomatic approach for conquering Tuscany without any bloodshed, in the meantime the republic would set a provisional border between Tuscany and the ex-provinces of Latium and Umbria, and would establish diplomatic relations with San Marino, the small republic manage to survive doomsday intact and now controls most coastal area of the province of Forlì, Sicily would send an official delegation to San Marino in the first of September, they were recived by the Captains Regent Luciano Cardelli and Reves Salvatori, both were happy to hear that Sicily and most of southern Italy survive, and the Captains asked if they are to be consider the successor state of the previous Italian Republic, the diplomats said yes, because legally the members of the Sicilian Regional Assembly were classified as deputies and so act as successors of the Italian Republic on this basis, the previous Italian ambassador for Italy would serve as the Sicilian ambassador and the official ceremony for the inauguration of the embassy was on 12th of September, at the same time also San Marino open an embassy in Palermo, the delegation was received with full honors by the president and the prime minister of the republic.
Diplomatic talks with Tuscany would continue even after 1989 and onwards until March, when the government reported to have found several dismembered men with a sign on the site “Fora ‘li Italiani dalla Toscana” with this event the Sicilian government give an ultimatum to Florence, with the request of give an official apology and to allow Sicilian troops to crossing the border, with time one week, in the meantime the Sicilian forces were mobilized and as expected the Tuscanian said no, the attack would commence on the 10th of March and the armies would move south towards Siena and then Tuscany and also from north east, passing towards Emilia-Romagna for taking the Tuscans from the back.
The advance in Tuscany was fast and with little casualties, the Tuscans hold their ground in some areas like Siena, Porto Ercole, Piombino and in the countryside, still the Sicilians were able to arrive at the outskirts of Florence by mid-March and with the intention of hold their ground until the Sicilian forces in Emilia-Romagna would invade them from the back. But unfortunately the Sicilian forces near Bologna were stopped by a coalition formed by Genoese, Venetians, Subalpines, Tuscanians and Swiss troops, seeing this the generals order a retreat towards the Marche for the troops in Romagna and send more men on the frontline, which was the Arno river, the frontline commanders would immediately contact Palermo for instructions and what to do, the government seeing the desperate situation would pore more men on the frontline, shortly after the Swiss government offer a ceasepeace between Sicily and Tuscany, both parties said yes and the demarcation line was set up on the Arno river and alongside the Marche / Emilia-Romagna border.
The ceasefire was officialized in the Treaty of Lucca, were the Tuscanian Republic and the Sicilian Republic agree to put an end to the hostilities and to formalize the current border, also there would be several special articles like the free movement of goods and people between the borders, the free navigation of the Arno, a series of economic aid to the remaining parts of Tuscany and the concession of autonomy to southern Tuscany, all this request were accepted by the Sicilians and so southern Tuscany officially become part of the republic the 2nd of April of 1989. Nevertheless the government in Palermo was happy with the result and the outcome of the war, consider this enough in a short campaign of less then a year and with very minimal losses.
After The Storm
With the end of the Tuscan-Sicilian War, the government in Palermo would begin bringing back order and stability to the part of the peninsula under their rule, and on the 17th of March, 1990 the rebirth of Italian Republic (Repubblica delle Due Sicilie) was declared by the National Assembly at Palermo, cementing their position as the official continuation government of Italy. they would also start relationships with several of the survivor Italian states like Genoa, Venice, the Subalpine Republic, Tuscany and the Alpine Confederation, at that time still known as the Swiss Confederation, and until the reopen of international trade the two powers were the biggest trade partners in the Peninsula and also among themselves, but the relations with the other Italian states weren’t all this good, they consist of just the minimum when it came to diplomatic relationship and it was even less with Tuscany, the fact of have relationship with Sicily was just a formality more then anything else.
Following the declaration of the Two Sicilies the government would implement a reform of the administrative system, now the Provinces are the first administrative level, they have similar powers to their pre-war counterparts; the Regions and under the provinces there are the Municipalities, the second level of administration and in most cases also has competences in the surrounding countryside, there is one autonomous province and that is Southern Tuscany, the province has domestic competence over subjects such as provincial finances, healthcare, domestic politics, education and others, except defence, public finances, issue of currency and the establishment of relationships with other nations and it was nicknamed since his establishment “Stato Nuovo di Siena” in reference to the old Stato Nuovo di Siena that was created between 1559 and 1766, like the old state their capital is in the city of Siena and as official flag it used the flag of the Republic of Siena.
In 1990 there would be the 2nd general elections of the republic and the first under the Two Sicilies, this elections were seen as a test by the establishment in Palermo for see if they scored well outside of Sicily, and surprisingly they did, most of the provinces voted largely the Democrazia Cristiana and only a minor part of the population voted parties like the Socialist Party, the Liberal Party, the Republican Party or Sicily onward, but in Tuscany for example the majority of the population voted for the Libertas Party, a political party created with the idea of bringing the interest of the Tuscans in the Assembly and also as a party for the Tuscans, it would also become the main party of the Consiglio Generale Senese for almost his entire existence and would continue to exist under Tuscany.
Still the DC was the main party in the National Assembly and it would remain so for many years, with most of the peninsula in their hands the government and the cosche, now organized into private companies with various interest would use their money and influence for dividing many parts of the market for themselves, by the 2000 most of this companies hold monopoly or share it with one or two rival companies over sectors of the economy, and both the government and this companies would invest and modernize the poorer areas of the republic or those badly damaged by the war, the government would also invest massive capitals in the construction of a modern welfare state and a police force that would both keep order and suppress eventual protests that can happen, it would also use the army and the national guard for secure much of the countryside in continental Italy for get rid of every bandit group or criminal activity.
An Unexpected Visit
In 1991 the radio station of the island of Marettimo caught up a distress signal coming from the sea, the person on the other side speak in English and claim to be from Australia and that they are circumnavigating the globe for see in what shape it is, the radio operator urged them to emerge and see who they are, 2 corvettes of the Sicilian Navy would intertect the USS Benjamin Franklin and the Albacora submarine of the Portughese Navy, the two parties exchange salutes and with the help of a Sicilian soldier who speak English both were able to communicate with each other, both asked a lot of questions, about who they were, how was their part of the world and if they were hostile, the Sicilian and also the Australians said no.
Then they were escorted to Palermo for being received from the president and the prime minister, at the port of Palermo there were hosted Portughese and Australian flags and the band of the city song both “God Save the Queen” and “A Portuguesa”, not knowing that Australia become a Republic, the crew of the submarines would be hosted in the Grand Hotel et des Palmes Hotel for the meantime, officers from both nations would had a private conversations with the president, the prime minister and the National Assembly for know everything about the world and for them know everything about Europe, the Sicilians give them all the informations available about Southern Europe, North Africa and Italy. The parties would stay in Sicily for a week until returning home, with the requests of starting diplomatic relationships with both Portugal and Australia, which started in 1992 and in 2001.
Age of Exploration - Western Mediterranean
Between 1991 and 2001 the Sicilian government would increase his domestic affairs and reforms, with the modernization of the economy, the general industrialization of Southern Italy and the exploration of the Mediterranean Sea and in general the hole region of Europe and Northern Africa, the government had already relationships with Malta, Republic of Genoa, Republic of Venice, Subalpine Confederation, and Tuscany, on the 4th of May of the same year the Republic of the Two Sicilies would send their first expedition in the Mediterranean Sea, with the goal of first exploring and establish relation with any nation in the western side of the Mediterranean and report the hole situation; the fleet would be composed of two frigates and one corvette from the WW2, deemed perfect as they don’t run on gasoline or oil.
Their voyage started from Palermo and from there they would to west alongside the Tunisian and Algerian coastline, it was discovered that North Africa was not devastated by the war of 1983 but his effects were devastating to the hole region, in Tunisia the national government manage to survive, but from 1983 to 1989 the country was under a military dictatorship, due to the large influx of Algerian, Libyans and European refugees, but since 1989 the situation was stable enough for a return to a civilian government, the convoy would hold a meeting with Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the newest president of Tunisia, alongside the officers of the convoy told that they are part of an expedition set up by the Twosicilian government in order to find what happen in the Mediterrean Sea, they also claim to be the successor state of the Italian Republic, as they encompass most the previous land hold by Italy before 1983 and on a legal ground the deputies of the regional assembly declare them the continuation of the old government, the Tunisian president was happy to hear this and the Italian ambassador in Tunis; Giancarlo Turì pledge his service to the Two Sicilies, and he would become the first ambassador of the Two Sicilies in an African nation.
The convoy would leave Tunis on the 8th of May for continue their voyage alongside the Algerian coastline, they reported that the national government collapses and that the region is now divided into several city states, the most powerful of them being Kabylie, Oran and Algeria itself, now in control of only the city of Algiers and few other coastal cities, seen the chaos of the region the convoy would bring to safety the Italian ambassador to Algeria, alongside any other Italian and military personnel.
In Morocco things went differently the northern side of the country was divided between the Republic of Rif and the Moroccan Kingdom, the Twosicilians made contact with the Riffans for knowing what happen to the region and Southern Spain, it was discovered that the region was devastated by both strikes in Gibraltar and other Spanish localites and also by the huge influx of Portughese, French and Spanish refugees, both civilian and military, after Doomsday a revolt was set up by the Riffans and with the help of the Spanish military forces they were able to repel any counter attack of Morocco, the Twosicilian officers decided to open relationship with Rif and recognize it as an independent republic, after maid a brief stop at Ceuta the group rembark heading towards the other side of the strait.
Spain and France
In Spain the situation was similar to that of Italy, the convoy founded many city states alongside the Spanish coast, like Màlaga, Marbella, Motril and few others, meanwhile in the ex-province of Mercia a Falangist government was established, they hold strict control of the population and use citizens as slaves, the convoy decided still to try a diplomatic approach, there was tension between the two groups as none speak either Spanish or Italian, then with gestures and a broken English they were able to communicate and say that this was a military convoy of the Two Sicilian Republic, the successor state of the Italian Republic, the two recognize each other as sovereign nations but nothing more.
In Catalonia and in the Balearic Isles the situation was definitely better as only Valencia and Barcelona were hit during Doomsday, one of the first state to be encounter was the Nation of Aragon, created around the city of Tortosa and founded by the bishop of the city; Ricard Maria Carles i Gordo, the contact was at first tense as the Aragonese had problems with pirates recently, but as the convoy approach L'Ampolla it was discovered that they were a military unit from Italy, after a long conversation with ended up with the recognition of each other’s nation and the offer by the Twosicilians to help Aragon with economical, military aid and assistance, the Bishop said he need time to think and so they left for going up north, after passing the ruins of Barcelona the convoy discover the existence of a regional government in the Balearic Islands, the governor said that Spain survived in the Canaries and in Western Africa, meanwhile the officers said that they were Twosicilians and the only legitimate government of Italy, after the establish of an embassy they left for Southern France.
In France it was even worse then in Italy or Spain, since most of the coast was only populated by fortified cities or villages and any major governmental authority with the exception of Andorra and the Kingdom of Monaco, the area between this two states was semi deserted, sparsely populated and with high level of radiation and high percentage of deaths as reported by the military, they would stop in any abandoned city for collecting datas and equipment if there was any, the initial encounter with both states was good since both Andorra and Monaco recognise the Republic as the sole legitimate government in Italy. By the first days of July the expedition returned home after passing by Corsica and Sardinia, the island of Corsica was intact and they established the Corsican Republic like 1755, instead the island of Sardinia was in a terrible shape, it had lost more then half of his previous inhabitants and the main cities were either abandoned or destroyed by the bombs, the convoy contacted the local government and they were happy to see an other Italian state alive, the Sicilian offer them to join the Two Sicilies on the base that it would be difficult for them keeping staying alone, after a discussion the Sardinains refuse but nonetheless they keep relationships with the republic.
The Age of Exploration - Eastern Mediterranean
Some months after the first expedition the government would organize an other one with the goal of exploring the eastern part of the sea and collect and reporting datas, the emerge of nations and the development of each areas, they would not go over in the Black Sea or in the Red Sea as they fear that this two locations might get bombed during Doomsday and the government didn’t have enough resources or any interest in doing that.
The 2nd expedition into the Mediterrean would begin the first days of September at the port of Bari, the convoy would be the same of the previous one, they start their journey by going north in the direction of Yugoslavia, since it was a third world country and neutral the military estimated that it escaped the devastation of war but they were wrong, some hours after sailing towards Montenegro they reached the city of Kotor, part of Yugoslavia, the convoy was immediately stopped by the Serbian Navy and they were escorted into Kotor and then bring to Podgorica, there they talk with the governor-general of Montenegro and the officers of the convoy would expain who they are and their reasons for sailing towards the Adriatic, they say to be citizens of the Republic of the Two Sicilies and that they are the successor state of the Italian Republic, and that Italy did not survive Doomsday unlike Serbia did, the officers then asked what happened to Yugoslavia since it was a neutral country; It was discovered that Belgrade was bombed as deemed an important target by the Soviets, this causes the collapse of the Federal Republic and the breakaway of Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia from the federation, the war against this states lasted until 1989, when the Alpine Confederation mediate a peace between Slovenia, Croatia Bosnia and Yugoslavia, the Peace of Ljubljana confirm that Yugoslavia would gain the Srpska territory alongside the remnants of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), meanwhile Macedonia would break away for forming the Kingdom of Macedonia, under the throne of the House of Karađorđević.
With this news the military would return to the convoy for continuing their journey, in a few hours they approached the shores of Albania, it was discovered that the capital Tirana was destroyed and that the country was divided among several city-states and clans, they would continue sailing alongside the coastline, they reported up that the country wasn’t stable enough to survive Doomsday, but still it remain intact as his infrastractures, military and industries continued to be used.
The situation in Greece was far more better then in Italy or in Spain, their first stop was the island of Corfù, there they were greeted by the local authorities and by the presence of Italian refugees, mainly Apulians who lived previously near Taranto and Salento, the officers were greeted a huge welcoming gathering by the Italian community, the convoy would stay several days in the island, there were long discussions between the Greek and Sicilian authorities about what happen to the respective countries and what to do with the Italian refugees, it was agreed that they would be picked up for returning in Italy, including their leader, Franco Coppola, a priest that lived in Lecce before the apocalypse, they all would be bringed back in Italy in a few days by a navy squad of the republic.
The convoy would continue their travel alongside the greek coastline, they found that the Greek Republic was fragmented but under the authority of several city-states similar to ancient Greece, the Peloponnese was untouched by the nuclear war, but still the destruction of Athens bring the region under the despotic rule of Nikolaos Michaloliakos, after Doomsday him and his followers found the Despotate of Morea, a clear reference to the old medieval Despotate, the commanders decide to still dock in Pyrgos for see it was possible to contact and establish diplomatic relationships, they were bring by the Krypteia at Sparti, capital of the Despotate, on their way the officers saw that many Libyans, who previously opposed the Morean occupation of Libya, would be sentenced to forced labour by the Moreans, forced to work in the fields or doing dangerous works, the soldiers called them “εἵλωτες” or "Iloti" in Italian, clearly an inspiration from the Spartan counterpart.
When they arrived at the city of Sparti they were greeted by the Morean Phalanx, a elite military unit composed by elite units of the ex-Hellenic Army and when they brought to the cospect of Nikolaos Michaloliakos, ex-member of the army and of the EOKA B, the officers would be ordered to bow at the despot and to adress his as “Her majesty”, formality aside the officers would tell to Nikolaos what happen in Italy after Doomsday and who they were, and also that they are the only state to be consider the successor state of the Italian Republic, while the monarch explain what happen in the Pelopponese after the war, with strikes in Athens and in Patras the rest of the peninsula would be a refuge for most of the refugees that manage to cross the Strait of Corinth, with the help of already present military units they would gard the city of Corinth and decide who was deemed suitable to be accepted in the Despotate, people with radiation poisoning or cancer would all get turned away or shot to death if they refuse to cooperate, the rest would become a subject of the Despotate, but as second class citizens, after other questions concering the rest of Europe or the Middle East the officers farewell the monarch and decided to head back to Pyrgos for informing the rest of the crew about their discoveries.
The convoy would leave continental Greece the same day for continuing the voyage, according to the Moreans the Greek government was able to survive in Crete, and recently they started to reclaim parts of mainland Greece, mainly the Attica region, the island of Euboea and parts of Central Greece, the Sicilians would be stopped by a ship of the Greek Navy near Crete, they explain to the Greeks that this is a expedition for see in what state is the Mediterranean Sea, after explaining this the Greek escorted them to Heraklion, when they reached the city the convoy was welcomed by the Prime Minister Konstantinos Mitsotakis and by the military authorities, the island definitely far better off then other areas of Greece, like Sicily their isolation and the absence of important targets make it a safe region in the years after 1983.
After a tour of Rhodes the officers would had a lunch with the Greek government and there would be lengthy discussions about what happen to the world, what the Sicilians discover and what the Greek discover too, according to reports of the Greek Navy Libya was in disarray already in late 80s cause the Libyan Civil War, and in 1987 it was invaded by Morea in order to boost nationalism and to take control of his resources, meanwhile Cyprus was not spared from the bombs as the two British bases were hit, following Doomsday the fights between Greek and Turkish Cypriots resumed, and as now they are still active, the government of Mitsotakis would recognize the Two Sicilies as the successor state of the Italian Republic and both states started to have diplomatic relationships, the Hellenic Republic was one of the most important allied during this period before the establishment of the Confederation of Greece, after some days the convoy would return to the sea.
They would continue eastwards in the direction of the Dodecanese, an Italian possediment until 1947, when it was transferred to Greece, the Sicilians would find that Rhodes manage much more better then Morea, in equal measures to the Ionian Islands and Crete the local government was able to survive and even to annex parts of the Turkey coastline in front of the Dodecanese, the officers of the expedition would also learn that Turkey too was destroyed, but that now a new state has emerged, the Turkish Sultanate claim to be both the successor of the Turkish Republic and of the Ottoman Empire, after visiting Rhodes the convoy would leave Greece for going in the Middle East.
Turkey and Syria
The Turkish Republic was heavy hit by the bombs in that day of September of 1983, due to their proximity to the Soviet Union, many of the main cities of Turkey like Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Alanya and others, according to the Rhodians only small parts like the southwestern part of the country, the Sicilian convoy would arrive in Turkish water some hours after leaving Rhodes, they would find the territory in the southwestern part of the country to be under the authority of a Turkish state, the coast guard would intercept the convoy and escort them to the port of Antalya, the greatest in the area and under the control of the Ottoman Sultanate of Turkey, a monarchy founded by Ertuğrul of the House of Osman, lucky for him he was taking part in a cruise when Doomsday hit, the ship immediately reached Antalya for taking refuge, since 15th May of 1984 the House of Osman returned to rule over Turkey with Osman V, declared the new caliph and Grand Sultan of the Sultanate after his abolish in 1922.
The Sicilians would be welcomed with great fanfare by the Turkish authorities, considering that they only had relationships with other Turkish states like the Republic of Hatay or with foreign like the Dodecanese Republic or Cyprus, the officers and the crew would be hosted in the Ramada Plaza, one of the most luxurious hotels of the city and in the several days the officers would be invited to a state lunch with the Ottoman Sultan and the Prime minister, alongside some military authorities, during the lunch the two parties would engage in long and detailed conversations on what happened in the relative countries during Doomsday, the Sicilians would also say that they are Italy now, or at least the legitimate successor of the Italian Republic, since they both control most of the territory of Italy and the fact that their regional representatives declare the republic, and they are at pair of a member of the national parliament.
The officers would also tell that Western Europe, in particular southern Spain and France suffer most then Italy or Turkey, since they are divided among various states or with no authority at all in the case of France and they would also explain that the Northern African countries survive mostly intact, but with problems due to the amount of European refugees and the fallout coming towards the area.
After the lunch Osman V announced that he will restore relationships with Italy and consider it the true and legitimate successor of the previous republic, Palermo would also recognize the Ottoman Sultanate of Turkey as the sole legal successor state of the Republic of Turkey and send an ambassador the next year, this would be the start of a steady friendship between Turkey and the Two Sicilies, some days after they would leave Turkey for continuing their travel in that area of the Mediterranean Sea, according to their report and the informations that they manage to gather eastern Turkey was basically a wasteland except for the southern part, consider part of “Kurdistan” and in the Hatay region, this parts were safer then the east but only by a margin, as they still need to deal with the hordes of refugees; both Syrian and Turkish and the radiation also.
By 1991 both states manage to become stable once again, and Hatay for example manage to occupy parts of Syria, mainly the coastal area and the north-west part, meanwhile the rest of Syria was under the control of a state that claim to be the successor state of the Syrian Arab Republic; the Republic of Jazira, located in the fertile lands of eastern Syria and also in the Syrian desert, the officers decided to just acknowledge the existence of this state and carry on.
Some hours after leaving İskenderun the convoy arrive in Lebanon, the officers know that Lebanon even before Doomsday was an unstable country due to the civil war since 1975 and the presence of the Multinational Force in Lebanon, composed of US, British, French and Italian troops in order to aid the Lebanese government with the evacuation of any foreign troops and the end of the civil war, Doomsday would change everything in Lebanon, as the country too was not spared by the wrath of the Apocalypse.
The country experience not only the masses of Syrian refugees coming at their borders, but also the massive presence of foreign troops, the nuclear radioactivity of the bombs dropped in Syria and the damages done by the civil war, the Sicilians would arrive in the port of Beirut some hours after leaving Hatay, when they first approached the bay of Beirut they found it crowded with military ships, both of the MIF and of the Soviet Navy, as soon as they were near Beirut they were spotted by a boat of the remnants Italian Navy, the Italians were shocked and very much surprised to see that Italy was not destroyed, or at least have minimal damages, many would cheer thinking that they will return to Rome as heroes but the reality was far more different, the Sicilians would be cheerful too but not surprised to see that the Italian contingent survived, as they started the journey into the eastern part of the Mediterranean with the retrieval and the status of the Italian forces in Lebanon as one of their main objectives and to bring them home.
After a brief chat with the soldiers of the San Marco battalion the Sicilians were brought into Beirut, the city was active as never before with Syrian, Europeans, Americans and Soviets inhabiting it now, they were brought to the Italian embassy in Beirut, now HQ of the Italian forces present in the country, the Sicilians would be welcomed by the gen. Franco Angioni, commander of Italcon since 1982 and by the ambassador of Italy in Lebanon since Doomsday, Giancarlo Ignazi, they would welcome the Sicilians with open arms and organize a lunch for both the crew and the officers, the lunch would open with a toast by Angioni saying that Italy and the Italians will always perserve and resist in front of danger and the tests of time, at lunch a full Italian course was served, from appetizer like tartare to the surrogate coffee and liquors.
At end of the lunch the commander of the convoy; Raffaele Greci, Angioni and Ignazi would hold a discussion on what happen after Doomsday both in Italy and in Lebanon, the ambassador and the general would ask if they have any legitimacy to use the tricolor and what happen to Italy, Greci would pull over a briefcase containing a list of documents detailing the legitimacy of the Republic of the Two Sicilies to be consider as the legal successor of the Italian Republic, this dossier was read turrowly by the two and after checked it both declare that the documents are legal and that the Two Sicilies is the successor state of Italy. As for what happen in Italy after 1983 it was a mess, Italy was in a disarray and cities like Milan, Turin, Rome, Taranto and others were destroyed and one of the few functioning regional government was that of Sicily, they declare themselves independent in 1985 and in 1990, after a brief liberation of the Italian peninsula from the lawness and anarchy of the wastelands they would declare the Republic of the Two Sicilies, leaving outside of the republic the independentist nations of Genoa, Tuscany, Venice, Sardinia and Southern Piedmont, with that many questions came by the two officers about not only Italy but also the rest of the world, Greci would also told that other nations outside Italy survive as well like Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Tunisia, Australia and many others, they instead would reply that most of the Middle East was intact, apart from Syria, Israel, now called Levant, Egypt, who suffer a nuclear strike from Israel and Iraq, who saw the destruction of Baghdad by Iran, Lebanon instead would endure many challenges since 1983;
Lebanon as a country was not spared by the war and the Lebanese government become dependent on the forces of the MNF, for their help in keeping the country from breaking any further and the Syrian forces, knowing that their country was destroyed by nuclear bombs, thanks to the stories of the refugees from Damascus and from Tartus and Latakia, also there was the small presence of what remain of the Soviet fleet in Syria, and last but not least the UN forces between the border of Lebanon and Syria, all this groups saw that combat was futile between each other and istead all of them pledge to either help the Lebanese government to stabilize the country and end the civil war, protect the citizens of their countries or return home if possible.
Since the first days of Doomsday the Lebanese government was able of only controlling the area around Beirut due to the EMP and the cut of communications in the country, during this first days it was chaos as the civil war was still raging and the city was just last year besieged by the Lebanese Defense Forces with the help of the IDF, the situation in the city was dire, as there wasn’t enough food for everyone, many citizens opted for create gardens in parks or untouched land or rooftops gardens, using land and engineering techniques for bringing water to the crops, the MNF was of vital importance during these initial days, helping out the Lebanese Armed Forces in maintaining order and in making sure that there was no combat. The situation would remain as this for some weeks, until under pressure of the International Forces and the UN diplomatic corp a council was called at Beirut with all the forces involved in the Civil War for create at least a momentary truce and to restore peace in Lebanon;
It was presided by:
- Amine Gemayel, President of Lebanon,
- Col. Timothy J. Geraghty for the American Forces,
- Lt. Col. John de P. Ferguson for the British Army,
- B. Gen. Francois Cann for the French Army,
- B. Gen. Franco Angioni for the Italian Forces,
- Lt. William O'Callaghan, commander of the UNIFL,
- Jean Cuq, Personal representatives of the Secretary-General,
- Hussein el-Husseini, co-founder of the Amal Movement,
- Walid Jumblatt, leader of the Lebanese National Resistance Front,
- Aiuf David Ivry, commander for the IDF forces in Beirut,
- Maj. Gen. Ali Haidar, commander of the Syrian Arab Army in Lebanon.
The council spoke for hours and the Lebanese leaders debated fearsome on what terms ending the civil war and how to stop the situation to becoming worse then it was, none of them was able to reach an agreement, neither was Syria or Israel able to convince their allied in creating a peace, at the end the UN and MNF leaders would came up with a solution that would hope to appease everyone;
- Combatments between any factions involved in the civil war will end immediately with a 24H time notification,
- The Lebanese Government would create momentarily a coalition government composed by every faction of the civil war,
- The Lebanese Parliament will be restored with immediate effect,
- Any militia or Lebanese faction that was involved in the war will be offered the opportunity to join the Lebanese Army or be disbanded by the UN Forces,
- A new constitution will be drafted by the parliament after the country would be stable again,
- Every citizen of Lebanon will be free of practice his or her religion and without any discrimination,
- Every citizen of Lebanon is equal in front of the law,
- The Lebanese Republic will had to adopt a neutral foreign policy,
- The Lebanese Parliament is set a rate of 1:1 for Muslims and Christians,
- Palestinian refugees have the right to either become fully Lebanese citizens or to return to Palestine,
- Elie Hobeika will be judged for his actions in the Sabra and Shatila massacre by an international non-Lebanese court,
- A general amnesty will be given to every faction involved in the civil war.
Plus any foreign military forces had the right to return home or in an allied country for the case of the Soviet Union, USA and British forces, the Multinational Force agree to be disbanded and be transferred under the command of the United Forces in Lebanon, this included also the remnants of the Soviet forces that took refuge in Lebanon in 1983 and the Syrian forces in Lebanon, although many would desert and return home in Syria, alongside the MNF there were many soldiers that served already under the UN since late 1978, mainly from Ghana, India, Indonesia, Italy, Iran and Norway. It was decided that a military council composed by the UNIL commander and the commanders of the ex-MLF was needed to be established in order to maintain a proper chain of command and coordinate efforts for the time being, and the UNIL was under supervision of UN and foreign embassy authorities, mainly those of Italy, UK and US, and would help the Lebanese government in protecting civilians from any firefight, maintain the peace and restore essential services to the population.
Israeli forces would withdraw from the country in 1984, by order of prime minister Yitzhak Shamir, the withdraw would ease the reconciliation between the Christian militias and the Lebanese government, helped by the joint efforts of Israel and the UN to bring stability to Lebanon. The UN forces with the passing of the years would be graduating give more power to the government and the Lebanese Army, by 1991 it was just a security and border guard force and thanks to the stability that the country built over the years it managed to restore trade with surrounding nations in just a decade and restored relations with every country of the Middle East, including Iran.
The UN forces of several distant countries would wait for years in order to leave Lebanon, but many of those countries didn’t leave Lebanon when the opportunity came, in particular, those from the French contingent had to wait until 2000 when French diplomates contacted Lebanese authorities for bringing his soldiers home; of the 1,637 French militaries in Lebanon as 1983, only 792 would accept to return with the French envoy, many of this soldiers married either Palestinians or Lebanese women and integrating themselves into the Lebanese society. Still, the commander of the explorative squad would offer to the French, British, Austrian, American, Canadian, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Dutch and Irish forces of the UN/MNF to be relocated to Sicily or any other friendly country until contact with their post-war counterpart will be established, meanwhile, the Italian forces will be brought back to Italy and serve under the Armed Forces of the Two Sicilies as agreed with Gen. Franco Angioni.
The troops would bring with them all their equipment and ships, this would boost the efficiency of the Navy, giving them the power to dominate the Mediterranian Sea and for organizing more distant explorations beyond it, the return to Italy for many soldiers was a shocking discovery, many of them didn’t expect to see Italy this destroyed, or by the fact that many of them wouldn’t be able to visit their families because of being now in new nations or because their family perished in the apocalypse. Many of these soldiers would experience survivor's guilt, a form of mental disorder that occurs when a person believes they have done something wrong by surviving a traumatic or tragic event when others did not, this is also known as Sindrome di Settembre in Italy, due to the fact that Doomsday occurred in that month.
Israel and Palestine
After some weeks of permanence in Beirut the convoy would left Lebanon for entering Israel, the officers did expect that the country survived well as it wasn’t considered an important target and so was it, but the militaries expected that only Tel-Aviv, at that time capital of Israel was going to be destroyed, but this wasn’t the case as many more objects were targeted by the Soviets.
Soon after entering Israeli territorial waters the convoy was stopped by a patrol boat of the Israeli Navy and after a brief description of their affairs and why they enter into Israeli territorial waters the group headed towards the city of Nahariya, the northernmost seaport of the country, there the officers of convoy were allowed to stay in the port for the time being and after a brief medical exam they were received by the mayor of the city and given a report over the events of the Nuclear Apocalypse and his aftermath in Israel, meanwhile the officers explained that they are Italians and they came from Palermo. Europe too was ravaged by the war and some parts did better then others in terms of survivability and safety, in Italy the government of Palermo unify most of the country under their rule, meanwhile the northern part of Italy was under control of survival independent states and also by the Swiss Confederation, who now control big parts of the Italian peninsula.
The officers explained the informations gathered from their travels in the Mediterranean, they described how countries like Malta were relatively safe from any danger or about the factorization of many countries of the Maghreb, particularly Algeria and Morocco, they also described the situation in Spain and France, and how bad the situation was there, the Israeli counterpart then give their account over what happened in the Middle East and in particular in Israel;
Israel was in 1983 in a relative calm situation, in 1982 the Egypt-Israeli Peace Treaty was signed thanks to the mediation of the United States, it stated that the Sinai Peninsula would be given back to Egypt and in 1981 the Israeli Civil Administration was created for replacing his previous military administration, created since the end of the Six-days War in 1967, on the night of the 25th of September Israel, as well was targeted by the Soviet missiles, but thanks to the rapid response of the IDF and of the modern anti
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