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The Bellum Romanum (Latin; literally "Roman War"; also known as Bellum Romanorem or the Italian Revolt) is an ongoing revolt being waged by the forces of the democratic, anti-communist Roman Republican Council against the authoritarian regime of Italian Generalissimo Aurelio Batista.
The conflict began as a small-scale guerrila campaign by the Romani, consisting of bombings and assassinations of low-key officials in the Batista regime. Batista responded to these attacks typically by making an example of any captured Romani rebels. Public executions were a typical means of frightening any would-be supporters of the resistance into submission. However, foreign intervention escalated the conflict into a legitimate war. The Bellum Romanum, or the Italian Revolution as it is called by some nations, is still unfolding at the time of writing. Details are bound to change as the conflict progresses.
Foreign Involvement in and Escalation of the Conflict
Spain had always been somewhat hostile to Batista's regime ever since he unified Italy and seceded from Spanish control in 1974. The Second Spanish Republic was unable to regain control of their rogue Italian governor for a number of reasons, but Miguel Tejero had managed to talk Batista into an uneasy truce - even managing to get Batista to sign a weakened version of the Iberian League's Ibiza Treaty in the name of uniting Europe against communism.
When Alfonso Sotelo's administration took the reigns of Spain, relations with Batista's Italy quickly went sour. A network of covert intelligence agents was put into place to monitor Batista's regime sometime in late October of 1976. The Spanish spies quickly revealed that Batista's regime was plagued by the Romani rebels. The Spanish watched the situation from a distance until Batista's forces managed to capture a key rebel leader by the name of Consul Basilio Ermano, putting the fate of the resistence in grave danger. With the Romani Republican Council in peril, the Second Spanish Republic could sit idle no longer. A Cazador strike force was dropped into Italian airspace and broke Ermano out of the Blocco 16 political internment facility amidst a daring bombing raid. The Cazadores spirited Ermano away into the Ligurian countryside, where they met up with Romani soldiers that presented the Cazador team to Consul Marius. After pledging covert Spanish air support to Romani forces to help bring about the collapse of Batista's regime, Marius accelerated his plans to escalate the conflict into open warfare. The city of Alessandria would be the first to fall, with Genoa and Turin following shortly after.
The Battle of Alessandria
Consul Marius was quick to marshal his forces and led them under the cover of nightfall to Alessandria. The opening shots of the battle took place shortly after midnight on December 9, 1976 when the Romani ambushed the Italian garrison of the city. Reinforcements arrived early in the morning, but a follow-up strike executed by the forces of Roman Consul Marius surrounded the Italians within the city proper and forced Batista's soldiers there to surrender. Seeing the severity of the uprising, Batista dispatched fighter wings and tank columns from Milan to crush the revolt. Before the tanks and fighters could inflict any real damage, however, two wings of Spanish Fantasma fighter jets arrived and routed the Italian force. Spanish sorties continued to support uprisings in Alessandria, as well as the nearby cities of Genoa, and Turin, confounding Batista's efforts to stop the revolt and crippling his air force.
Once all of Liguria was under Romani control, Consul Marius came to the realization that his forces were thinly spread, even with Spanish aerial intervention. However, his Cazador advisers suggested an attack on Rome in order to liberate Pope Constantinus XVII and the Holy See and thereby acquiring international legitimacy. Consul Marius agreed and ordered Consul Tullus in Lazio to begin the attack on Rome at once.
Entry of the Balkan League into the Conflict and the Battle of Bari
Upon the formation of the socialist Balkan League in January of 1977, the leadership of the newly-united Balkan state faced hostility from European nations suspicious of socialist politics such as France and Spain. In gesture to improve relations between the Balkan League and Spain or France, President Kautsky of the Balkan League declared war on Batista's regime in order to build rapport with the Spanish. A Balkan invasion force slipped past Batista's fleet in the Adriatic and landed in the south of Italy at Bari. With Batista's forces concentrated in north in the conflict with the Romani, the Italian forces in the south of the peninsula were left at a fairly low strength. The Balkan invasion from the south came as a complete surprise for the Italians and the Balkan forces gained ground quickly across the south after their initial blindside at Bari.
With the Balkan invasion underway, the Spanish military was mistrusting of the motives of the socialist Balkans in Italy. Not about to let the socialists take control of Italy after the fall of Batista, Spain, along with Portugal and Malta, joined in open warfare against Batista's regime. Meanwhile, the Brazilian-led South American Confederacy also pledged support of the Roman Republican Council
Battle of the Tyrrhenian Sea
When Spanish prime minister Alfonso Sotelo declared war on Batista's regime, Spanish Cazadores were already serving covertly in Italy as advisers to the Romani leadership and Spanish fighters were conducting secret air raids to cripple Batista's ability to crush the rebellion. However, the Spanish military called for a general invasion of the Italian peninsula by sea, which required the Spanish to break through a defensive line of Italian ships stretching from Sicily to Sardinia in order to access the Tyrrhenian Sea. In the early morning hours of January 28, 1977, a strike team of Cazadores - Spain's elite special forces unit - boarders boarded the Italian battleship Nettuno from a dinghy launched from the Spanish aircraft carrier Caballo Palido. The Cazadores siezed control of the Italian ship's magazines and turrets, using them to attack nearby Italian ships and cause havoc within the Italian fleet. This prompted the Spanish fleet under Admiral Javier Oviedo to close within striking range and iniate volleys with their main batteries.
This battle is still occurring at the time of writing. The outcome is not yet certain and details could change at any time.