|The Pact of Steel Shattered|
On September 1st, 1939, Nazi Germany declared war upon Poland following a lengthy dispute over the status of the Free City of Danzig. France and the United Kingdom declared war upon Germany two days later when it failed to withdraw from Poland's territory as required by their ultimatums. Italy, however, refused to fight. Germany and Italy had not expected a war to break out with the Allies until 1943, at which point both of their militaries would be ready to wage total war. Even when the German military had begun their blitzkrieg through the French homeland, Mussolini only threw his hat in due to the war being perceived near its end, and his desire for Italy to share in the spoils. This would lead to the collapse of Italy's fascist regime within the next three years following a series of embarrassing defeats, devastating battles across most of the Italian Peninsula, and years of recovery only made possible through international aid such as the Marshall Plan.
However, if Italy had remained outside of what would become the Second World War, would its history have become any brighter, any darker? Would Germany still have persecuted the war the way they had? Would Fascism have earned a place in Modern Politics?