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Thread: almost 100 years since Italy betrays Germany and Austria-Hungary

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    almost 100 years since Italy betrays Germany and Austria-Hungary

    We are just over a month out from Italy declaring war on the Central Powers. This could be a very interesting what-if.

    1. Italy entering the war forced the AH Armies to fight a two front war which fatally weakened them against the Russians. A stronger AH might have beaten back the Russians and maintained enough political stability to survive the war, and relieve the need for the eventual German occupation of Russia to be solely German meaning more troops for the Western Front.

    2. An allied fleet of 10 A-H/ Italian dreadnoughts would have outnumbered the French and may have forced the British to divert part of the Grand fleet.

    3. Possible small alpine front with France would have diverted at least some French troops and that could have impacted operations on the Western Front.

    4. 3 million Italian-American voices added to German-American and general isolationist voices might have been enough pressure to keep the US out of the war and this would have profound repercussions on global history.

    5. British need to reduce Italian colonies would impact troop strength in either the Levant or Western Front or both.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    4. 3 million Italian-American voices added to German-American and general isolationist voices might have been enough pressure to keep the US out of the war and this would have profound repercussions on global history.
    A question tangentially related to this point. The Economist claims:

    “Germans were not part of the colonial aristocracy,” says Rüdiger Lentz, director of the Aspen Institute Germany. Many Italian and Polish immigrants were middle-class, and they quickly became politically active. German immigrants tended to be poor farmers, which is why they headed for the vast fertile spaces of the Midwest. “The Italians stormed the city halls; the Germans stormed the beer halls,” went the saying.
    Ref: http://www.economist.com/news/united...silentminority

    Is this claim correct?

    I always thought that the Germans had a normal distribution of immigrants -- many poor peasants, but also a good number of middle-class farmers, craftsmen and businessmen, and a even a few rich bankers and industrialists. And 18th C Pennsylvania Dutch and Germans had trail-blazed the European settlements into the Ohio Valley, and movement into the Mid-West was a natural progression as more immigrants came from NW Europe. In contrast middle-classes were almost non-existent in Poland and Italy, and most immigrants were from the peasantry. Also the South and Eastern Europeans (and Irish Catholics) had no pre-blazed routes of movement and faced significant anti-Catholic sentiments, and hence clumped around cities longer.

    And getting back on topic, since German and Italian unifications had happened relatively recently back in their home countries - and without much democratic participation, did the immigrants even feel any strong political connections to the nationalist passions that consumed Europe just before WW-I?

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    Depends on at which time. The early 18th century saw pretty much only richer people emigrating to the USA, while in the 1850s to 1880s there was a mass emigration "of all kinds" - but mostly poorer people; in the 1880s, i.e. the mass emigration generation that by WW1 was the last to have been born in Germany, it was mostly industrial workers (fleeing from the Bismarckian anti-socialist laws).

    The Great Plains were mostly settled by German-Russian farmers who were evicted from Russia starting in 1872, but those, while speaking German, hadn't had any connection with the German Empire for about a century.

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    The German community in America was very much pro-Kaiser in the war, but they were vastly outnumbered by WASPs.

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