Thursday, November 16, 2006

General Draza Mihailovich a Brilliant Staff Officer and Man of Remarkable Natural Dignity

‘A man whom I am proud to have known; a man of honour; serious, well-informed, a good listener, articulate when he spoke, and I found him broad in his understanding, with loyalty
to the whole of Yugoslavia
and not to a narrow Serb hegemony.’

Sir Alexander Glen
British Naval Attache in Belgrade



By David Martin

Although Mihailovich was not widely known in the Western world at the time his country was invaded by the Nazis, he was very well known to a limited number of people concerned with the security of the Balkan countries.

Sir Alexander Glen, who served as British naval attaché in Belgrade before the German invasion, told me that he and Colonel Clark, head of the British military mission in Yugoslavia, had cultivated Mihailovich as one of the most promising junior officers in the Yugoslav army. Glen was obviously proud of his early friendship with Mihailovich, despite the fact that he had wound up as a liaison officer with Tito. Indeed, when I saw him at his home in Worcestershire, England in December 1977, he was still strongly pro-Tito in the sense that he felt that Tito had commanded a much more effective military force than Mihailovich, and that in terms of serving Britain’s immediate interests, Churchill had done the right thing in switching support to Tito. At the same time, however, it was obvious that he treasured the memory of the bright and dedicated young army officers he had known in Belgrade. About Mihailovich, Glen wrote to Nora Beloff:

‘A man whom I am proud to have known; a man of honour; serious, well-informed, a good listener, articulate when he spoke, and I found him broad in his understanding, with loyalty to the whole of Yugoslavia and not to a narrow Serb hegemony.’

Julian Amery had more to say about meetings involving “Sandy” Glen and Mihailovich. Shortly after the coup of March 27, Amery and Glen had invited Colonel Mihailovich to dinner ‘for the specific purpose of telling us something of his plans for fighting a guerrilla war if the Germans should overrun Yugoslavia.’ It was natural that they should do so, because Mihailovich was then chief of the Operations Bureau of the General Staff, and also a recognized expert on guerrilla warfare. In this second capacity they had met with him more than once to hear his views on Albania. Amery relates that ‘when we asked him [Mihailovich] how his plans for guerrilla warfare were going, he replied acidly that they all depended on fighting a regular campaign first. As things were going, the country seemed to be heading, not for resistance but for capitulation.

Mihailovich was also well known to important political elements in the Balkan countries. Dr. George M. Dimitrov, exiled leader of the Bulgarian Peasant Party, who knew Mihailovich well when he served as military attaché in Sofia, told me that he had received a highly favorable impression of this serious and farsighted young officer. Dimitrov’s one criticism of Mihailovich during this period—and it must be remembered that Dimitrov himself was considered the next thing to a Communist by right-wing Bulgarians—was that he was somewhat too naively sympathetic to Russia and to the Balkan Communists.

Transferred to a command in Slovenia shortly before the outbreak of the war, Mihailovich had used his position to scourge the Volksdeutsch and quisling organizations that, with Nazi encouragement, had become brazenly active. Even in advance of the war, therefore, Mihailovich commanded a certain notoriety among the Nazi elite concerned with Yugoslavia.

Although not an officer of high rank, he had established a considerable reputation as a theoretician by the time the war broke out. Mihailovich was never one to avoid taking controversial positions. He argued that large sums of money were being wasted on the fortification of the Slovenian frontier. He proposed a defensive plan that would have abandoned Slovenia and most of Croatia, with the Yugoslav army following back on redoubts in the mountainous areas of Bosnia and southwestern Serbia.

Mihailovich’s ability as a soldier was conceded even by his enemies. ‘Mihailovich…as is generally acknowledged, was a brilliant staff officer,’ said Michael Padev, a Bulgarian-American journalist who was pro-Tito at the time he wrote this in 1945 but finally turned violently anti-Communist and anti-Tito. Officers who had served under Mihailovich or with him all reported that he had an uncanny knowledge of the intricate topography of Yugoslavia. ‘He knew the mountains of Yugoslavia like he knows the inside of his pocket,’ aid one of them. ‘Even in making the most difficult journey he rarely consults a map.’

In the late summer of 1940, after the fall of France, Mihailovich demonstrated where his sympathies lay by attending a reception at the British embassy in Belgrade in full uniform, without obtaining permission. For this he was punished by General Nedic, who was then minister of war, with twenty-four days’ house arrest.

Before hoisting the flag of continued resistance on Ravna Gora, Mihailovich resisted the Germans with desperation. His motorized detachment was overwhelmed, losing all of its vehicles and most of its men. After the news of the Yugoslav capitulation was received on April 20, he made a fighting speech to some eighty of the men he still had around him, saying that he would not recognize the surrender, and that he intended to wage guerrilla warfare.

In the course of the war the available literature about Mihailovich was enormously enhanced by the media and by the hundreds of American airmen who lived with him for a period of months before their evacuation to safety in Italy. The accounts of the British and American officers who came to know him well had to wait until after the war.

One thing that impressed all who came to know him was his remarkable natural personal dignity, all the more impressive because it was combined with an unaffected peasant egalitarianism. He would have his meals sitting on the ground with Allied officers or American airmen or local peasants. On the march, he would always carry his own knapsack.

Lt. Colonel Robert H. McDowell, who headed up the U.S. intelligence mission to Mihailovich in the fall of 1944, was in Yugoslavia for only two months. However, during this period Mihailovich was retreating through western Bosnia, where his position was still strong, and on the many marches they made together and the many meals they shared and the many evenings they warmed themselves at the campfire, McDowell had more than ample opportunity to explore a wide range of subjects with Mihailovich and to get to know him on an intimate personal basis. It would be no exaggeration to say that by the time McDowell parted with Mihailovich, he had come to know him better than any other officer, British or American.

What was his impression of Mihailovich? McDowell summed him up as ‘a very fine gentleman’ – using the word ‘gentleman’ in a broad, inclusive Southern sense of a man who possessed all the basic virtues. McDowell told me that he considered Mihailovich one of the three most impressive personalities he had met during his long and highly active career, the other two being Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the father of modern Turkey, and Father Sava Bozic, a venerable Orthodox priest who commanded a large Mihailovich formation in western Bosnia in which Serbs, Croats and Moslems served harmoniously together. This evaluation was all the more impressive coming from a man who was himself enormously impressive.

…On December 7, 1941, as the Germans were seeking to destroy the Mihailovich movement through Operation Mihailovich, Mihailovich was appointed brigadier general by King Peter [of Yugoslavia]. A month later, on January 11, 1942, he was appointed a full general and was named minister of the army, navy and air force.

David Martin
The Web of Disinformation


Blog Author's Note: David Martin was and remains a foremost scholar on General Draza Mihailovich, authoring three books vital in providing an honest and fair historical analysis of the Mihailovich resistance movement, how Great Britain and America dealt with it, and the man himself: Ally Betrayed, Patriot or Traitor, and The Web of Disinformation. Martin's distinguished career included his roles as journalist, organizer of antitotalitarian and humanitarian causes, staffer on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and political analyst as well as historian. He remained dedicated to the cause of illuminating the truth about Mihailovich until finally succumbing to Parkinson's disease in Arlington, Virginia.

Friday, November 03, 2006

The Mystery of Mihailovich: Patriot or Traitor?

“The tragedy of it all is not only that our betrayal of Mihailovich forfeited the friendship and esteem of the Serbs. By our pro-Communist propaganda we drove them into the arms of Tito. We succeeded in turning a large part of the population of Yugoslavia from friends into enemies, and reducing our prestige in the Balkans to zero. Have we not already smarted for it? Greek Communists have not hesitated to fire on British troops, Albanian Communists to fire on British ships, and Yugoslav Communists to shoot down American aircraft.”

Donovan Touche


December 27, 1946

General Mihailovich testifying at the communist trial in Belgrade, Yugoslavia

that would end in his execution in July of 1946.

NOTE from Blog Author: Ironically, even though it was Britain who betrayed General Mihailovich in the Second World War, it was some of Britian's officers, diplomats, and journalists who were fairest and most effective at pinning down and exposing the truth about what really happened in Yugoslavia during WWII and the British complicity in the consequences of what transpired during and after the war. A number of excellent and honest articles about the Mihailovich tragedy were published in independent British papers during and after his trial at the hands of Tito's Yugoslav communists in 1946. Of those, the following is one of the very best. Though written 60 years ago, it resonates today, like so much of what was written at that time, which should have served as a harbinger to those who would be in charge of world events and their consequences in the future.


By Donovan Touche



December 27, 1946

Was General Mihailovich a great patriot, foully done to death, or was he a collaborator? That is the mystery of Mihailovich. I would not have presumed to intervene in this delicate and disturbing debate but for the privilege of my acquaintance with a very gallant gentleman, Major Kenneth Greenlees, who for eighteen months served with General Mihailovich as British Liaison Officer until our Military Mission was withdrawn in 1944. What the soldier said is evidence in this case.

In the dark days of 1941 Mihailovich was the loyal friend and Ally of Great Britain. Then in June 1941, Germany attacked Russia, and the Communist Tito took to the hills. Tito was a Russian-trained revolutionary agent, and as head of the Communist party in Yugoslavia had opposed the war with Germany so long as the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact held good. He now took up arms in the interest of Russia, although hitherto indifferent to the cause of Yugoslav independence. His intervention greatly complicated the problem of the patriot Mihailovich who now had not only to defend his country from the Germans but also from eventual communisation, especially after he became the recognized representative in the field of the Royal Yugoslav Government. The astute Tito quickly grasped that the Russians would be unable to provide any material assistance for some considerable time. He, accordingly, set himself to win the confidence and support of the British, and later the Americans. By getting their support transferred from Mihailovich to himself, Tito would bring about the overthrow both of Mihailovich and the King’s Government, which he upheld, and obtained the control of Yugoslavia for Russia. The Anglo-Americans would thus be induced to co-operate in the destruction of the very government which they had recognized. To achieve this he had to convince the British that his Partisans were causing far more harm to the Axis forces than were the Chetniks, and exaggerated bulletins were issued as to the Partisan exploits and claiming credit for those of the Chetniks.

The only reply Mihailovich could make to this was to increase his own action against the Germans, which entailed appalling reprisals upon the population out of all proportion to any possible value of his military action. He soon came to the conclusion that continuous small actions were more harmful to his people than helpful to the Allies. The meager scale of his supplies did not permit larger actions. As Minister of War and the King’s representative in the field, he could not discard his responsibility for the Serbian people, on whom he was wholly dependent for recruits, food, shelter, and information, or weaken their loyalty to the King by exposing them to useless massacre. Tito felt no such compunction, and, indeed, had everything to gain by provoking reprisals in his rival’s areas. Is not misery the seedbed of Communism anyway? The Germans were quick to seize the opportunity of sowing the seeds of civil war, and killed first hundreds, and finally thousands of innocent Serbs for any small act of sabotage. This policy was not nearly so marked in the Tito areas. To their eternal shame, the Anglo-Americans allowed themselves to be persuaded by the short-term military advantage of switching their supplies and propaganda support from Mihailovich to Tito, although this ensured the ultimate rulers of Yugoslavia being anti-British Communists. British arms and munitions were largely used against the Mihailovich forces which continued to rescue and evacuate hundreds of American airmen. The sacrifice of loyal and tried friends to their declared enemies has become a cardinal principal of British policy I these days of imperial decay; and who can say what craven motive of appeasing Russia calculated into the sordid calculation? Just so was the Polish Government, which we had likewise recognized, abandoned to the Communist wolves. Never again can any European King be expected to ally himself to a country which has proved as false and treacherous to its true friends in adversity as contemptible in its habitual appeasement of the strong.

General Mihailovich was a good enough soldier to have confidence in the final victory of the Allies, and as trustee for the King’s Government was in duty bound to weigh the advantages of any military action he could take against the reprisals it would bring down upon his people, and against the Communist threat embodied in Tito’s Partisan movement. As the Germans, in his view, would be driven out of Yugoslavia in the long run anyway, it is understandable that he should have regarded a permanent Communist subjugation as the greater danger to his King and Country, as in fact it has proved to be. The General’s plan was to organize his forces for a general uprising on the day of the Allied landing. It was difficult for him to understand why he should be called upon to sacrifice his men prematurely when every other resistance movement in Europe was being urged to lie low until Der Tag.

The followers of Mihailovich were for the most part Serbs and intensely pro-British, thanks to their memories of the Kaiser war, when the Serbian Army was re-equipped by and fought alongside the British Army. Old veterans of Salonika would tramp for miles over the mountains in any weather merely to shake the hand of a British officer. They would insist that British officers should share their homes, when discovery would entail their utter destruction, as it often did. The Communist intimates of Tito felt no sort of friendship for the representatives of ‘British Imperialism’ and only preserved appearances until such time as they had built themselves up with Anglo-American arms and supplies brought in at the cost of Anglo-American lives. All pretence of friendship was dropped once the Allies wished to land in Yugoslavia, when they found their entrance to the country practically banned.

The tragedy of it all is not only that our betrayal of Mihailovich forfeited the friendship and esteem of the Serbs. By our pro-Communist propaganda we drove them into the arms of Tito. We succeeded in turning a large part of the population of Yugoslavia from friends into enemies, and reducing our prestige in the Balkans to zero. Have we not already smarted for it? Greek Communists have not hesitated to fire on British troops, Albanian Communists to fire on British ships, and Yugoslav Communists to shoot down American aircraft.

The people of Yugoslavia, and, indeed, of the Balkans generally, are the natural friends of a Britain which can harbour no possible territorial ambitions at their expense and only desires their independence. With vain and pathetic eagerness they look to us for moral leadership. Their traditional friendship and respect is being destroyed at an ever-quickening temp by the continuous propaganda of their Communist Governments. This propaganda has for its theme the evils of a mythical British imperialism and the danger to world peace of British aggression. It is, in fact, rabidly British. Our remaining friends behind the iron curtain are never allowed to hear our answer to these absurd charges. They see, on the contrary, our Press excusing and justify their Communist regimes. What, indeed, are they to conclude when they read in the Titotalitarian Times of November 12, that the Yugoslav elections were, by Balkan standards, relatively free and “democratic”? The Times leader also appears to accept the view that the assistance rendered by the Soviet Union in the liberation of Yugoslavia and Bulgaria gives the Russians a claim to favorable commercial treatment, when such favorable commercial treatment means the barring of trade and intercourse between ourselves and these countries. The implied conclusion is that there is no alternative to the existing Communist regimes, and their overthrow could only result in an anti-Semitic Fascist counter-revolution. Rather than risk that, The Times evidently prefers anti-British regimes. Far from any moral support, those who look to the West for inspiration find only abdication and exhortations to submit to the Communist tyranny, any encouragement being reserved for the Communist tyrants. Doubtless this conclusion will be made known throughout Balkania and will deepen despair among our dwindling supporters.

In the opinion of Major Greenlees there is no mystery about Mihailovich, who was a great Serbian patriot and no traitor. The man who had always been a friend of Britain, and threw in his lot with the British when their fortunes were at their lowest ebb, was not likely to be guilty of collaborating with the hated enemy when the Allies were heading for certain victory. “It is not treachery to decline to accept a revolution.” The most responsible American newspapers have openly stated that Mihailovich was shamefully tortured before his trial. As to this, Major Greenlees comments that the aged and broken man who gave evidence at the trial was not the same Mihailovich he had known for eighteen months in the hills. No admissions that may have been wrung from him in these circumstances would be admitted as evidence in any British court of justice. The trial was just a frame-up to discredit Anglo-America in the eyes of the Yugoslav peoples. Major Greenlees asserts that every effort should be made to keep the Balkan peoples truthfully informed of British aims and policy, as was done during the German occupation. It certainly should, but the B.B.C., which delighted in creating the Great Tito Legend, is no fitting instrument for the purpose. Its voice would drown in the blood of Mihailovich. Imagine, in conclusion, what were the feelings of Major Greenlees and his brother officers when, living under the faithful care and protection of the Chetniks, they heard the B.B.C. daily attacking those same Chetniks and their leader !

Donovan Touche


Published in “TRUTH”

December 27, 1946

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Monument to General Draza Mihailovich Sought in Washington, D.C.

"I simply cannot believe that a monument to General Mihailovich, built with private moneys on American soil, could be considered an affront to the Government of Yugoslavia. We have delayed too long on this matter and I urge expeditious action by both Houses."

U.S. Senator Dennis DeConcini
July 29, 1987


100th Congress

Senator Strom Thurmond, Republican, South Carolina


Senator Dennis DeConcini, Democrat, Arizona

Senator John C. Danforth, Republican, Missouri

Senator John McCain, Republican, Arizona


S.J. RES. 182

By Mr. THURMOND (for himself and Mr. DECONCINI):

S.J. RES. 182. Joint Resolution to authorize the National Committee of American Airmen Rescued by General Mihailovich to erect a monument to Gen. Draza Mihailovich in Washington, D.C. or its environs, in recognition of the role he played in saving the lives of more than 500 United States airmen in Yugoslavia during World War II; to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.


MR. THURMOND: Mr. President, today, I am introducing a bill which will authorize the National Committee of American Airmen Rescued by General Draza Mihailovich to erect a monument in Washington.

The reason for having such a monument stems back to World War II. During that war the United States and Great Britain initially supported the nationalist resistance movement in Yugoslavia, led by General Draza Mihailovich. Due to a tragic combination of errors and mistaken information, the Allies withdrew their support for Mihailovich at the end of 1943 and backed the Communist resistance movement of Marshal Tito.

Despite his abandonment by the Allies and despite the merciless wear waged against him by both the Communists and the Nazis during 1944, Gen. Draza Mihailovich and his forces, known as the Chetniks, succeeded in rescuing some 500 American airmen who were shot down over Yugoslavia. Most of these men were safely evacuated from Nazi-occupied Yugoslavia to Italy.

In 1948, President Harry S. Truman awarded posthumously the Legion of Merit to General Mihailovich for his heroics in rescuing American airmen and for his larger services to the Allied cause. Unfortunately, the American public was unaware of this award since the State Department, fearful of offending the sensibilities of the Yugoslavian Communist Government, made the award to Mihailovich “secret” for almost 20 years.

Since that time, a group of American airmen have organized themselves into a national committee composed of American airmen rescued by General Mihailovich. This fine organization has launched a movement to build a memorial in Washington, D.C. dedicated to the man who saved their lives. This effort has been ongoing for some time now, with the support of many Members of Congress. I can think of no better way to discharge this debt than to authorize these airmen to erect the monument they have in mind.

Mr. President, in voicing my support for this effort, I want to emphasize the fact that this project is to be financed, not by the American taxpayer, but through the fundraising efforts of the airmen’s group. All costs for the construction and maintenance of this memorial will be borne by the private sector.

This legislation is virtually identical to previous measures that have been approved overwhelmingly in the Senate.

Mr. President, the airmen who seek authority to have this monument erected do not wish to make political noises that would offend the present Government of Yugoslavia. They seek only to acknowledge their deep sense of gratitude to a man who was instrumental in rescuing nearly 500 downed American flyers during World War II. They merely want the simple recognition that would be imparted by the erection of the General Mihailovich monument.

Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the text of the resolution be printed in the RECORD.

There being no objection, the joint resolution was ordered to be printed in the RECORD, as follows:

S.J. RES. 182

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That subject to authorization by the Secretary of Interior pursuant to section 2 and the provisions of Public Law 99-652, the National Committee of American Airmen Rescued by General Mihailovich is authorized to establish a monument on public grounds in the District of Columbia or its environs, to honor General Draza Mihailovich for the role he played in saving the lives of more than five hundred United States airmen in Yugoslavia during World War II.

Sec. 2. (a) The Secretary of the Interior, in consultation with the National Committee of American Airmen Rescued by General Mihailovich, shall select with the approval of the Commission of Fine Arts and the National Planning Commission a suitable site on grounds owned by the Federal Government in the District of Columbia or its environs for erection of the monument referred to in the first section of this joint resolution.

(b) The National Committee of American Airmen Rescued by General Mihailovich shall be responsible for the development of the design and plans of such monument, which shall be subject to the approval of the Secretary of the Interior, the Commission of Fine Arts, and the National Capital Planning Commission. If the Secretary of the Interior, the Commission of Fine Arts, or the National Capital Planning Commission fails to approve or make specific objection to such design and plans within ninety days after submission, such approval shall deemed to be given.

(c) Neither the United States nor the District of Columbia shall bear any expense in the erection of the monument other than expenses incurred in the process of site selection and approval of design and plans.

Sec. 3. The Secretary of the Interior shall permit ground breaking for construction of the monument only after he determines that sufficient funds are available to complete the monument in accordance with the approved design and plans.

Sec. 4. The authority conferred by this joint resolution shall lapse unless the construction of the monument begins within two years after the date of enactment of this joint resolution.

Sec. 5. The maintenance and care of the monument erected under this joint resolution shall be the responsibility of the National Committee of American Airmen Rescued by General Mihailovich.

Mr. DeCONCINI. Mr. President, I am pleased to cosponsor Senator Thurmond’s legislation to authorize the National Committee of American Airmen Rescued by General Mihailovich to erect a monument to General Draza Mihailovich in Washington, D.C. This is subject to authorization by the Secretary of the Interior or pursuant to section 2 and the provisions of Public Law 99-652.

As many of us are aware, General Mihailovich is responsible for saving the lives of over 500 American flyers who were shot or forced down over Yugoslavia during World War II. For his acts of heroism and bravery at that time, he made the ultimate sacrifice, his life, during the internecine strife which plagued his country following the war.

Today we are here to again remember his heroic efforts during the war on behalf of American flyers. Introduced last year under the sponsorship and direction of Senator Thurmond, this legislation expressed the support of the Senate for this worthy cause. We are reintroducing this resolution today to again commemorate the memory of General Mihailovich. Just as we have recognized the valiant acts of the Marquis de Lafayette and General Casimir Pulaski, so it is fitting that we do so for this courageous man to whom so many Americans still living owe their lives.

One of those men is Richard L. Felman of Tuscon, Arizona who has devoted his life to seeking recognition of General Mihailovich’s efforts to save the lives of American servicemen. I congratulate Major Felman for his diligence and devotion, and admire the dedication to this cause which he has displayed since the end of the war. For nearly a half of a century, Major Felman has crusaded for proper recognition of General Mihailovich, a crusade which merits a successful conclusion.

Mr. President, this legislation has been successfully passed in the Senate numerous times in the past, only to be stalled in the House, due in large measure to objections raised by the State Department. I have worked with Senator Thurmond and with Members of the House to attempt to solve this dilemma. I am hopeful that with a combined effort from both Chambers and the Department of the Interior that this logjam can be broken up and an appropriate monument erected. I simply cannot believe that a monument to General Mihailovich, built with private moneys on American soil, could be considered an affront to the Government of Yugoslavia. We have delayed too long on this matter and I urge expeditious action by both Houses.


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

General Draza Mihailovich Speaks in the Congressional Record

"In this war the antagonists and aggressors have invented a new weapon. They live in the delusion that they will be able to gain that which they cannot attain through brutal force by slandering the leading men of such a people and by deceiving an uninformed world."

General Draza Mihailovich


The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a previous order of the House, the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Crane) is recognized for 60 minutes.

Mr. CRANE: Mr. Speaker, on April 6, 1941, the German Government made an unprovoked attack on Yugoslavia. By April 13, the Germans captured Belgrade. By April 18, the Yugoslav Army officially surrendered. Col. Draza Mihailovich did not surrender, but retreated to the mountains where he organized resistance to the enemy occupying forces. King Peter promoted him to general and appointed him Mister of War. In this capacity he was recognized as an ally by the United States during World War II.

For a brief period following the German invasion, there is evidence that General Mihailovich and his Serbian forces were not the only Yugoslav resisting the Nazi invasion. But in the autumn of 1941, the so-called Partisans - Yugoslav Communists - ceased cooperation in resisting the Nazi and began attacking the Mihailovich forces from the rear. At the time, General Mihailovic was acting as the duly authorized Minister of War of the recognized Yugoslav Government. That was 46 years ago this month, Mr. Speaker, and today in the United States Congress we are gathered together, as in the past, to pay our respect to General Mihailovich upon the anniversary of his betrayal and execution at the hands of the Communists in Yugoslavia.

The reason for our tribute to General Mihailovich is first and foremost our gratitude to him for saving the lives of over 500 American airmen whom he rescued. Those of us in Congress who have studied the history of this period have striven to fulfill the desire of those saved American airmen to memorialize General Mihailovic with the erection of a monument in his honor in our National Capital. Despite communist disinformation both during World War II and after, preserved historical documents and facts conclusively demonstrate the General Mihailovich was an heroic anti-Nazi, but also an anti-Communist. It was the latter that led to his murder, but also the effort by our own State Department to conceal the fact that President Truman - upon the recommendation of Gen. Dwight Eisenhower - had conferred the highest honor upon General Mihailovic that this Nation awards to foreign nationals: the Legion of Merit. The official United States policy position after World War II was to accept the fiction that Yugoslavia was a nonaligned Communist state and thus acting wholly independent of the Soviet Union. To nurture this fiction, any information that confirmed the Yugoslavian Communists' betrayal of our war objectives had to be suppressed. It took over a decade for Under Secretary of State, Ed Derwinski, when he was a Member of Congress, to make public the heroism of General Mihailovic and to reveal the betrayal of the United States commitment to freedom by the Communists in Yugoslavia both during and following World War II.

Through the historical documentation of Communist methods, yesterday and today, a rear picture emerges of the communist clique which murdered General Mihailovich as well as a majority of his followers and soldiers. The Communist successors to Nazi tyranny destroyed and knowledge to Mihailovich in his own country and benefited through financial assistance from the United States as well as other Western democracies.

Reasonable questions arise, after all these years and the irrefutable documentation of the Communist betrayal of freedom in Yugoslavia after defeat of the Nazis, as to why our State Department continues to attempt to perpetuate the absurd notion that Yugoslavian communism represents some kind of blessing to the West. Stalin has to be laughing at Western gullibility from the grave.

Why are the lifestyles of the red and famous untouchables? Why is there so little challenge to the reliability of Communist-produced evidence? Is there something in the generous, compassionate nature of Americans that precludes a recognition that the world is divided between the Good guys and the bad guys? Do our own State Department bureaucrats succumb to the charm school appeal of a Gorbachev because his background and Communist history dictate that, or are they simply wishful thinkers? America, as the torch of freedom for mankind at this juncture in history, must critically evaluate the players in the world arena. Why, for example, is General Mihailovich still off limits?

His relegation to nonperson status by the Communists who stole Yugoslavia is understandable, for General Mihailovich detested Red Nazis as vehemently as he did Black Nazis, and he was fully aware of the ideological kinship between the two. For freedom loving allies to succumb to a phony distinction between these mutual affronts to every decent value emerging from Western civilization would have baffled General Mihailovich as it baffles every student of history. And yet the United States State Department has still suppressed the mistakes of policymakers who were misled by Communist moles both in British intelligence and our own at the end of World War II.

The consequence of this logic tight compartment mentality is that 41 years after the brutal murder of General Mihailovic by the Communists, there is still no record, no memory, no grave, no monument to a certified Western hero.

As a result, it is incumbent upon the Congress of the United States to expose the cover-up and deceptions both for the sake of history and to vindicate a great patriot. Our efforts to memorialize courage, justice, integrity, honor, and truth today is essential to secure freedom tomorrow.

Hopefully, we can generate within our State Department and amongst our Western allies an awareness of the plight of the defenseless people of Yugoslavia. Just as we must account for every idle word, we must account for every idle silence. Silence, in this instance, means that we have failed our task - that of carrying forward the torch of freedom.

Simply labeling the clique of dictators around the world "Marxist" - as if they represent a kind of humanistic approach to life that differs from traditional belief only on the question of embracing transcendentals - is in fact an obscenity.
General Mihailovich, ruthlessly murdered by the Communists and relegated to obscurity, is in fact a victim of this obscenity.

Suppressing documented facts is a part of the 40-year campaign of disinformation directed against General Mihailovich and his Serbian freedom fighters. God willing, the battle for truth and justice will ultimately prevail, and General Mihailovich's dream for a Yugoslavia free from tyranny will at least become a reality.

Mr. Speaker, when it was apparent that the conflict with the Nazi invader was successfully ending, a national congress of King Peter’s supporters was convened with a view toward what kind of postwar Yugoslavia would emerge. Draza Mihailovich, the celebrated military hero in defense of his homeland delivered an opening declaration which follows:



“Thanking you for your invitation, my dear brethren. I consider it my duty as a man and as a responsible leader of today’s struggle for the right to live of our tri-nominal people, to bow in reverence to the fallen heroes, innocent victims in this struggle.

I believe that I shall be the interpreter of your wishes if from this historic gathering I declare that the families of the fallen victims shall forever be the subject of our care and our pledge for their future.

In the name of the Royal Government and the Yugoslav Army I greet you as the representatives of the organizations of the democratic people of Yugoslavia and wish you a felicitous work at this great national and state task.

Though few in numbers but great in spirit, our people, which throughout all of its history was always and is today the object of admiration of the entire world in the struggle for their survival, has forced even its enemies through a strenuous struggle to respect them.

Passing over the history and causes of the temporary loss of the state in the past and in this imposed war, I call to the attention of the whole world the fact that our people emerged from every battle as victors because they lived and died for freedom.

In this war the antagonists and aggressors have invented a new weapon. They live in the delusion that they will be able to gain that which they cannot attain through brutal force by slandering the leading men of such a people and by deceiving an uninformed world.

As a soldier who by birth and characteristics belong to such a free and heroic people, I could not nor would I wish to abandon my King or my Fatherland.

I have fulfilled my oath.

I was certain that the people to which I belonged would never submit to a life of slavery. The Yugoslav Army under my leadership and I personally was, and will forever remain, loyal and devoted to the Commander-in-Chief, His Majesty King Peter II.

We, the Army and I personally are loyal now and will be loyal in the future to the constitutional and legal order in Yugoslavia just as we are and will be forever the defenders of her territorial integrity.

We, the Army and I personally, regard it the exclusive right of the free and democratically elected representatives of the people to carry out the organization of the state in a constitutional way.

Most categorically, with disgust, I deny the malicious rumors or collective vengeance against no matter whom.

The question of the treatment of war criminals has been decided at the inter-allied conferences whose decisions bind us as well. And our laws are guarantee enough for everything and everybody that justice will be satisfied. Therefore, the innocent cannot suffer for they will enjoy not only my personal protection but that of our Army as well. No individual action during the transition period to normalcy will be tolerated by myself or the Army.

I trust that in this manner I have answered the wishes and disposition of our people which you today at this great people’s Congress represent in imposing numbers.

Long live the Democratic Yugoslav People!

Long live the Kingdom of Yugoslavia!”

General Draza Mihailovich

As it developed, Mr. Speaker, the dream of General Mihailovich to see a free, democratic Yugoslavia emerge in the postwar world was dashed. The oppression of the Nazis was replaced by the oppression of Tito’s communism. General Mihailovich was arrested, charged with collaboration with the Nazis, tried, and convicted by his Communist adversaries, and mercilessly executed…

Philip M. Crane
November 19, 1987

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Nazi Commander Heinrich Himmler Issues Order to Destroy General Draza Mihailovich

"The basis of every success in Serbia and in the entire southeast of Europe lies in the annihilation of Mihailovich. Concentrate all your forces on locating Mihailovich and his headquarters so that he can be destroyed."

Heinrich Himmler
Nazi Commander of the SS and Gestapo
July 17, 1942


Excerpt from
Britain, Mihailovich and the Chetniks 1941-42

By Simon Trew

“While the Chetniks in Serbia were rebuilding their strength, the Communist-led guerrillas were losing what little remained of their own. The last of the Partisan odreds on the right bank of the river Drina was driven into Bosnia in March, while in the same month Bulgarian troops, legalized Chetniks and other Nedic forces dealt their detachments near Leskovac a heavy blow. By June there were only 852 Partisans in the whole of the country and after an offensive against the survivors in southern Serbia during July, barely 500 remained. However, although the near-destruction of his rivals could only be a source of satisfaction for Mihailovich, it did of course mean that the enemy’s attention was more and more likely to be turned towards dealing with his own organization. Certainly, by mid-summer 1942 the Germans were becoming increasingly worried by the revival of Chetnik strength and the potential threat that the latter represented. On July 17 Heinrich Himmler, the Reichsfuhrer-SS, wrote to one of his colleagues:

‘The basis of every success in Serbia and in the entire southeast of Europe lies in the annihilation of Mihailovich. Concentrate all your forces on locating Mihailovich and his headquarters so that he can be destroyed. Any means may be used to achieve this end. I expect the smoothest cooperation between all agencies concerned, from the Security Police and Security Service to all other branches of the SS and police. The head of the SS and police Meissner has already received instructions from me in this regard. Please let me know which clues we already have of Mihailovich’s whereabouts. Please inform me weekly about the progress of this action.’”

* * *

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Chetniks Save Americans as the Germans Close In

"The Tito government may have shot Mihailovich as a traitor, but I know of at least 300 men who owe their lives to him. He will always be a hero to us."


The Story of the Rescue of the B-24 crew of

“The Chippie Doll”

By Staff Sgt. Raymond Weber

Sunday morning, June 11, 1944: We left our base about 5:00 a.m. It was our third mission after coming home from a week of R & R on the Isle of Capri.

We were headed for the oil fields in Guerju, Romania. The Germans were pumping oil and loading it into barges to be sent down the Danube River.

Attacked by German fighters – Folke Wolfes (I think) – we were damaged and had to slow down. The other planes dropped their bombs on the target and turned back. As they turned, we dropped our bombs (on no telling what) and tried to get back into formation, but we had to slow down too much. It became evident we couldn’t make it and the remaining American fighters dipped their wings and had to leave us. That’s when the German Luftwaffe closed in.

Hefling ordered me out of my turret and into the plane. The alarm rang out and we knew this was it. I could see the boys in front going out the Bombays. Four of us went out the camera hatch in the back. As our parachutes opened, we watched the plane go into the mountainside and explode.

I landed in some trees and luckily escaped getting caught in the branches. I buried my parachute and began running in order to get as far away from the drop sight as possible. Down the mountain I could German troops in their armored trucks beginning their search for us.

I ran for two hours and finally dropped from exhaustion. As I lay there trying to catch my breath, I saw heads come up the mountain into view. To my relief, I knew they were not German troops because they had women and children with them. They wearing the strangest assortment of uniforms I had ever seen. Some were armed with only rakes and pitchforks.

“English, English!” they clamored.

“No, American,” I said.

Very pleased, they shouted “Americansky!”

They all wanted to shake my hand and kiss me. I was very thirsty and tried sign language with a motion of drinking. Someone handed me a bottle and I took a deep swallow. “Oh my God! Rackia!” It was their homemade whiskey which, by the way, before we got out of there, we almost got to like the stuff!

They wanted to know where I had hidden my parachute. Sign language again – “Under leaves.” After everyone searched for about two hours, we finally found it.

I was then taken to a little house down in the valley where I met up with Staff Sgt. Frank Kincaid (Crew Tail Gunner). We gathered from them that we were with the Chetniks under the command of General Mihailovich. They fed us and we spent the night with them. Later we were joined by Tech Sgt. Joe Hoffman (Crew Gunner) and Tech Sgt. John Martin (Crew Radio Operator/Gunner). Two to three days later we were all reunited.

We traveled from one relay station to another, never spending much time in one place. One guide made the entire trip with us. At one point we picked up a P38 pilot who had been badly burned. The natives had put black salve on him, but he was in bad shape.

Our co-pilot had broken his ankle on the jump and had to be carried by the crew or rode in an ox cart when we could get one.

I had left that morning with no gun, no watch, and was dressed only in coveralls that bagged all around me. I remember Captain Robert Hefling, the pilot, saying to me, “For God’s sake Weber, walk behind me! I can’t stand to look at you any longer!”

The people fed us whatever they had: onions, black bread, goat cheese. Once we had mulberry soup made from mulberry leaves.

One day we were eating in a tavern-type building when one of the guides rushed in, “Germanskys are coming, Germanskys!” We were too tired to care and ignored him. He jumped on the table and screamed, “Germanskys! Run!”

When we heard in the distance the motors of the trucks and motorcycles, we decided to run for it after all and dashed up the mountain looking for cover.

Another time we were dressed in their peasant clothes and walked along the road with groups of refugees, men, women and children. A German column passed along the road beside us. With our beards and dirty clothes, we resembled our rescuers enough to fool the Germans. Had I put out my hand, I could have touched the enemy.

What a chance those people took! If we had been discovered, there is no doubt we would all have been shot on the spot, along with the peasants and their children.

We were walking along a valley road enjoying, for a change, the fact that it was level, when the scout in front came rushing back. “Germanskys!” – Again!!

A small shallow river ran along one side of the road with a sheer bluff on the other. No choice – into the river to hide among the weeds. Luckily it was a short column. Cold and hungry and now very wet as well, we struggled on.

They kept moving us around to avoid detection. The longest we stayed in one place was three days. After nearly two months of this, we were informed that there was a rescue mission being formed in Italy to come for us.

Three men from Italy had parachuted in and had the peasants working on a makeshift runway on top of one of the mountains. Bonfires were made ready to act as landing lights. One night they were lit as eight C47 transport planes came in and picked up the sick and wounded. It was decided that night landings were too risky so we had to wait. The third day we saw them coming in again. There were six C-47s this time, and we began running from our hiding places to the air strip. It was about two miles away and as we ran, we saw the planes taking off again.

“Oh, Damn! Come back! Come back! Wait for us!” Our navigator was close to a coronary. We ran faster!!

Then, with relief, we saw another formation coming in for us. They were surrounded by P51 American fighter planes holding off the Germans while the rescue was taking place. It was like a scene from a movie! I was amazed to see how many airmen had been assembled and later learned it was close to 300.

Accompanied by our nodding, smiling peasants to see us off, we scrambled into the planes. Shoes, shirts, anything we could decently take off, were thrown back to the poor, disheveled Chetnik army who were dressed in rags and had risked their lives to save us.

The C47 pilots were busily running around trying to collect souvenirs from the people while we were in a terrible hurry to get them back into the planes before the Germans showed up again.

I still have the rip cord that saved me that day. I have a Yugoslavian army hat, which had somehow found its way into my possession. I have part of my parachute. The Serbs took part of it for cloth and all of the strings for thread.

The Tito government may have shot Mihailovich as a traitor, but I know of at least 300 men who owe their lives to him. He will always be a hero to us.

Staff Sgt. Raymond Weber
Ball Turret Gunner

THE CREW of B-24 “The Chippie Doll”

Captain Robert Hefling, Pilot
1st Lt. Richard Stillman, Co-Pilot
1st Lt. Robert Welborn, Bombadier
1st Lt. Karl Pfister, Navigator
Tech Sgt. Joe Hoffman, Gunner
Tech Sgt. John Martin, Radio Operator/Gunner
Staff Sgt. Raymond Weber, Ball Turret Gunner
Staff Sgt. Norman Elzeer, Gunner
Staff Sgt. Frank Kincaid, Tail Gunner
Staff Sgt. Frank Chappell, Nose Gunner
Staff Sgt. Fred Lucas, Photographer

Blog Author’s note: I wish to thank Raymond and Viola Weber of Missouri for submitting Ray’s story and for sharing their memories of the great rescues of Allied personnel that took place in occupied Yugoslavia in 1944.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Canadian condemnation of cowardly leadership

"The story cannot be told even in volumes. Here in this country, many airmen owe their very lives to Mihailovich. And it is notable, too, that it is through their efforts that help is being mobilized for Mihailovich. Their plea of “He saved our lives, we’ll save his!” is taking the country by storm. When the leaders are cowards, the people must act."

From the editorial article in
The Canadian Social Crediter
Edmonton, Canada
May 30, 1946


The shameful treatment of General Mihailovich, one of the bravest men in history, is awakening the whole American continent. It has been notable that in our own Canadian Parliament, only one man – the Social Credit Member of Parliament from Wetaskiwin, Norman Jaques – had the courage to rise and say a few words in defense of this Chetnik hero, whose assistance to the Allied cause can never be calculated. It was Churchill himself who declared on March 27, 1941: ‘Early this morning the Yugoslav nation found its soul!’ That was the morning when the Regent Prince Paul and his pro-Nazi cabinet was ousted and the Yugoslavs decided to fight Hitler. One of the men who helped make the decision was Draza Mihailovich. The man who screams for his murder, Tito, is the Russian agent who was collaborating with Hitler when Mihailovich was fighting the Germans!

Mihailovich, once described as the “White Hope” of the Allies in the Balkans, received the Croix de Guerre from General de Gaulle, who called him the ‘legendary hero who has never ceased to fight against the common enemy.’ In the fall of 1942, General Eisenhower sent the Yugoslav patriot a telegram of congratulation on his valiant resistance. For his part in ensuring victory in North Africa (by tying up German divisions and holding up supplies), Great Britain’s General Auchinleck, Air Marshal Tedder and Admiral Cunningham sent their warmest thanks and congratulations to Mihailovich. King George presented the famous Chetnik with a ‘purse’ of $10,000 in gold.

The story cannot be told even in volumes. Here in this country, many airmen owe their very lives to Mihailovich. And it is notable, too, that it is through their efforts that help is being mobilized for Mihailovich. Their plea of “He saved our lives, we’ll save his!” is taking the country by storm. When the leaders are cowards, the people must act.

For it was cowardly (and in some cases, erroneous) leadership that put a gallant hero where he is today—in the torture chamber of Tito’s communists.

After the Teheran Conference, Mihailovich’s name was replaced by a new name, Tito. The “sphere of influence” in the Balkans had been decided upon. Stalin got his way—and part of the price was Yugoslavia, via Tito. That meant the head of Mihailovich. The hero was sold down the river—and a lot of people know it.

Is this any subject for a Social Crediter paper? Start betting your life that it is—because Social Credit is a way of life, and that way of life recognizes honour and integrity where others think only of Mammon (material wealth) or political expediency, or both."

The Canadian Social Crediter
Edmonton, Canada
May 30, 1946

Aleksandra's Note: When this editorial was published, General Mihailovich had by this time been captured by Tito’s Yugoslav communists and was being held prisoner in a Belgrade jail while awaiting trial before the communist court which would begin in June of 1946.


Aleksandra Rebic


If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra, please feel free to contact me at


Monday, October 09, 2006

General Mihailovich didn't sacrifice Belgrade

"One may ask now what would have been the fate of Mihailovich if, being less realistic and more romantic than he actually was, he had continued his fight irrespective of the consequences."

The British Press

The Whitehall News
July 19, 1946


General Mihailovich is dead, shot by a firing squad in Belgrade. This political murder, carried out by Marshal Tito’s appointed judges, was committed on the national hero of Serbia and on the man, who, in 1941, brought Yugoslavia into the war on the Allied side. It is, therefore, one of the most revolting examples of abandonment by the Western Democracies of their former Allies in East-Central Europe.

The main accusation against Mihailovich who, after the collapse of Yugoslavia, was the first to start there guerrilla warfare against the Nazis, was that after an initial period of great activity, he withdrew into the Serbian mountains and remained there comparatively passive. This was the basis of accusing him of “collaborationism.”

The fact, however, is that Mihailovich was a true patriot of Yugoslavia and as such, considered it his first duty to appreciate realistically the interest of his nation. Consequently, he thought the price which the Yugoslav people were paying for his armed activity, the price of mass executions carried out by the Germans in retaliation, much too high for the actual results he could achieve. He was confirmed in this attitude when, after Teheran, the Allies gave up the plan of invading the Balkans.

Tito, on the other hand, was never a free agent; he was consistently carrying out the directives of Soviet policy in the Balkans, and so, was never hampered by patriotic scruples. Thus, he could wage the Partisan war, disregarding the bloody reprisals taken by the Germans on the civilian population.

One may ask now what would have been the fate of Mihailovich if, being less realistic and more romantic than he actually was, he had continued his fight irrespective of the consequences. Would he, then, have escaped the accusation of the Belgrade court that he betrayed Yugoslavia?

The answer to this question is easily provided by the fate of another Allied commander, the Polish General Bor-Komorowski, who led the Warsaw rising. General Bor did exactly the opposite of what Mihailovich had done. In accordance with the romantic and heroic Polish mentality, he disregarded realistic political considerations—he fought to the bitter end and to prove the intransigence of the Polish resistance against the Nazis, he did not even hesitate to lay Warsaw in ruins. And yet, neither he nor the Polish Home Army commanded by him, have escaped the accusation by the present rulers of Poland of being pro-Nazi, Fascist, and collaborationists. General Bor avoided the fate of being tried like Mihailovich only because he was outside the grip of the Warsaw administration. His successor in the command of the Polish Home Army, General Okulicki, was, however, less lucky; ten years of penal servitude, the sentence of the Moscow trial against 16 Polish leaders, was his reward for his fine resistance record.

Thus the tragic fate of General Mihailovich is by no means a consequence of what he has done or left undone, but simply of the fact that, declining to be a Communist tool, he was a true representative of the independent spirit of Serbia—as Bor is of Poland. The political fate of both had been decided long ago, at the Conference of Teheran and Yalta, when East-Central Europe was then recognized as belonging to the Soviet sphere of influence. Both could do nothing to change this, but at least the realistic Mihailovich did not have to reproach himself for having destroyed Belgrade—in vain.

The Whitehall News
July 19, 1946

General Mihailovich did not sacrifice others for his own glory / Captain Walter Mansfield of the First American Mission to Mihailovich in WWII


"To him we have to be grateful for breaking out of the encirclement. Yes, I might add, and for our lives. If there was no General I would not be alive today"



Speech given in Canada in 1953

“There is no nation which would, more than you Serbs, appreciate human freedoms and rights. Not only appreciate, but give everything for them. It happened on Kosovo, the Salonika Front and Ravna Gora. The first thing that I learned from your brothers in your mountains was “Freedom or Death.” The great law and ideal for great men and times.

"…I have not many opportunities to meet many great men. One of them is my good and never forgotten Chicha [General Mihailovich]. He will live in my heart as long as I last. I observed him in all conditions, mostly difficult ones. Then one can see better. It made no difference whether the gunpowder was burning the eyes, or death was waiting, or injustice was hurting. He was always great and sincere in victory as well as in defeat. He loved his country, his people and the cause of freedom, sacrificing himself for the glory of living...

"Calm, courageous, and resourceful, during all operations from Ivanjica, Drina, Zlatibor, Valjevo and Sabac, he remained always legendary. I remember one night near Rudo, when a battle lasted three hours and the Germans were firing on us from all sides and from the air, Chicha went from one to another, from one part of the battlefield to another, bringing fate and force into our weakened bodies. To him we have to be grateful for breaking out of the encirclement. Yes, I might add, and for our lives. If there was no General I would not be alive today...

"He spared innocent blood and avoided hopeless battles at all cost – although it is always easier to sacrifice others for one’s own glory, or build that glory on thousands of innocent and unneeded graves.

"‘When the times of a general uprising comes,’ said Chicha, ‘we will give everything for freedom and victory. But, for that day we must be ready so that we can hit harder and win for sure. Before that day arrived they chose Tito. By such an act, they have sinned against God, faithfulness, justice, victory and freedom,’ Chicha declared.

"During the very difficult winter of 1943, together, we were pushing to break out of the Valley of Death. Already the perspective was changing. The BBC glorified a man who had been sent to Yugoslavia to convert the liberation struggle into fratricidal war, and on the ruins of a state to build a Communist ‘Celekula’. [The Turkish Pasha of Nish, in 1809, had ordered that the heads of Serbian insurgents who had tried to liberate a town near Nish be shaved [Cele] and used to erect a tower [kula] as testimony to what happened if Turkish control was challenged in Serbia.] There is no cruel, dishonest, or bestial road that this Red monster did not take to to accomplish his task. The naïve Allies, to accommodate Stalin, nurtured a snake in their bosoms.

"On his account fables were converted into history. Other people’s successes into his red feather. We were in Rogatica after Ostojic’s troops won the victory at Visegrad. That same night the BBC gave our victory to Tito and announced that victorious Partisans had entered Rogatica. We, the Yugoslav Army of the Homeland, were in Rogatica. At that time, around the town there was not a single German or a Tito Commie.

"When we parted after a brotherly hug, Chicha was smiling but his eyes were sad. We knew what kind of days were to follow."

Captain Walter Mansfield
of the First American Mission
to Mihailovich in WWII
Speech given in Canada


If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra, please feel free to contact me at


Friday, October 06, 2006

Western Democracies on Trial with General Draza Mihailovich

"Nothing has happened since Mr. Churchill in Brussels described his support of Tito as one of the greatest errors of the war to suggest any modification of that verdict, and it is more likely to be strengthened than weakened by future events."

From the leading article in The Western Morning News and Daily Gazette

Plymouth, U.K.

June 12, 1946


The opening stages of the trial of General Mihailovich have confirmed the impression already formed that not only the General but the Western democracies would be put on trial. Tito has returned to Belgrade from Moscow, after discussions which have resulted in the promise of substantial military aid. We shall no doubt hear later—and perhaps disconcertingly—what else he and his mission had secured.

Nothing has happened since Mr. Churchill in Brussels described his support of Tito as one of the greatest errors of the war to suggest any modification of that verdict, and it is more likely to be strengthened than weakened by future events. Few will now question that a political blunder was made. Those who were associated with are now describing the military circumstances of the time in the endeavour to show that however unfortunate its consequences the decision was inevitable. On this point the evidence is not entirely conclusive.

The picture presented in some quarters of General Mihailovich ceasing to be interested in fighting the Germans and devoting all his attention to the Partisans, who for their part were anxious to expel the invader, can not be reconciled with a good deal of first hand and apparently reliable evidence from British and American quarters. There is no doubt that General Mihailovich was very much concerned at the possibilities opened up by the evident Communist desire to seize possession of the country, and all that has happened since indicates that his fears were not groundless. It must be remembered, however, that he and his Chetniks were the first to take arms against the invader and that the Partisans showed no inclination to do so until Germany was the enemy not only of Yugoslavia but of Russia.

To say that General Mihailovich was more interested in his own country than in any other is to pay him tribute which patriots anywhere would wish to earn. It cannot be payed to Tito or to any other non-Russian Commissar in the Soviet service. Our primary concern, however, is not the personal virtue of either of the leading parties in this quarrel. It is with the effect of their activities on our interest. Even if we could accept entirely the military picture presented by those who seek to justify the change of policy when Mihailovich was abandoned, the historian would probably still have to record that a blunder was made in subordinating political consideration entirely to military. It is not the only occasion on which it was made, but it is the most flagrant.


BLOG AUTHOR’S NOTE: The Trial of General Draza Mihailovich began on June 10, 1946 in Belgrade, Yugoslavia before a communist court whose members had already labeled Mihailovich a “Traitor” and a “Collaborator” before the trial ever began. It would culminate in a “Guilty” verdict and his execution on July 17, 1946.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

American Military Forces treated as Prisoners by Tito's Partisans

“I am honored that I should be included editorially in the observance of a memorial year for Draza Mihailovich, and pleased that I may once again pay tribute to a great man, whom I shall never forget. Pleased also for the opportunity to again expose the vile, contemptible, and inhumane treatment of the General by his captors, who, then and now, consider themselves worthy to participate with dignity in the community of nations. The mockery of Draza’s trial and his subsequent murder shall forever mark the Federative Peoples Republic of Yugoslavia as a Federation of Swine, abysmally ignorant of the basic concept of human rights and dignity. Our only solace can be that those responsible will receive their just reward at the hands of the Almighty. May this eventual consequence rest heavily on their minds during their mortal lives.”

Lt. Col. James M. Inks

United States Air Force (Ret.)


July 13, 1946

Dear Lt. Inks:

I have learned that you parachuted from your plane on the 28th of July, 1944, near Podgorica, Yugoslavia and that you were liberated by the Partisans April 26, 1945, and returned to your base. As the military attaché to the Yugoslav Embassy in Washington, your experiences and impressions regarding this matter, interest me very much and I would appreciate it very much if you would inform me in detail about your experience. I am especially interested in your impressions of our units and the various parts of the country through which you passed, their treatment towards you, what observations you can make concerning the enemy and how you happened to be liberated by the Partisans and returned to your authorities. I would like to know how you were received by the various units in Yugoslavia and how they treated you.

Anticipating a quick reply to my inquiries, accept my sincerest regards and my congratulations on your safe return to your hone and to your loved ones after all you have gone through in this horrible war.

Sincerely yours,

Colonel Mihovil Tartalja
Military and Air Attache
Yugoslav Embassy


July 17, 1946

Colonel Mihovil Tartalja
Military and Air Attache
Yugoslav Embassy

Colonel Tartalja:

At dawn this morning, 17 July 1946, the Partisans took the life of the greatest man yet to show his face in the political situation of Yugoslavia. Yes, General Mihailovich was truly a great man. His honesty, integrity and straight-forwardness was in direct contract to the slinky and crafty Partisans that I was unfortunate enough to come in contact with.

I am writing this at your request, and my views are my own and are not to be interpreted as to represent those of the army or my government, however, you can rest assured that I am going to do my utmost to expose this monstrosity of a crime that your government has just this morning committed.

I spent months in Yugoslavia and came in contact with all of the factions there. I lived with General Mihailovich for three months and learned a great deal about the man and his ways of accomplishing things. I jumped in the same fox-holes with his Chetniks, when American and English planes bombed and strafed them on Tito’s information that Germans were there. True, the Chetniks were not openly fighting the Germans in the last year of the war, but they were powerless to do so. However I witnessed and took part in numerous skirmishes with the Germans, which we were forced to give the Partisans credit for.

As for the treatment by the different groups, the Chetniks treated us like free men and allies. They gave us food that should have normally gone to their underfed troops. They gave us guns and ammunition and money and allowed us to do just about anything we were physically able to. After we were captured by the Partisans, we were treated as prisoners and certainly not like allies. They took our guns and ammunition from us, kept us with their prisoners, and even forced us to carry wounded Partisans off the field of battle under fire.

I kept an accurate account of what happened to me and my comrades while we were in Yugoslavia. This has recently had its secret classification removed by the army and is now cleared for publication. I hope in the near future to have it before every citizen in the United States, in one of our popular magazines and you can rest assured that I will leave nothing out that reflects my contempt for your present form of Government. Furthermore, several hundred other American airmen are not going to forget General Mihailovich and I sincerely hope that we see to it that you are reminded forcefully of the supreme injustice that you have committed against him.

Captain, Air Corps

Lieutenant Colonel James M. Inks of the United States Air Force flew 135 combat missions during twenty years of his distinguished military service. His Liberator bomber was forced to go down in Yugoslavia in July of 1944 as he was flying his 43rd mission, last mission during World War II. Inks and his fellow airmen would stay in Yugoslavia for 10 ½ months after being rescued by the Chetniks. He witnessed firsthand what was going on in Yugoslavia as he traveled with the Chetniks. Three of those 10 ½ months were spent directly with General Mihailovich near Loznica. Lt. Col. Inks would learn much about both the General and his forces and kept a diary during his time in Yugoslavia. This diary would later be published in book form in 1954. Eight Bailed Out, published by W.W. Norton & Company, New York, is the story of an American airman’s experience in World War II Yugoslavia among the people who were fighting not just for their lives against the Axis occupier but for the integrity and future of their nation after the war.

The preceding was published in “Tributes to General Mihailovich” a memorial commemoration of the Mihailovich legacy on the 25th anniversary year of his uprising against the Nazis and the 20th anniversary year of his death. Windsor, Ontario, 1966.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Tito was no Liberator and Draza Mihailovich was no Collaborator

General Mihailovich at his Trial in Belgrade
before the Yugoslav communist court that
would execute him immediately following the
completion of the Trial in July of 1946.




Part Two

On the issue of Alleged Collaboration with the Germans

“Wasn’t it in the Spring of 1943 (March to be exact) that Partisan representatives me with the Germans and confirmed that the Chetniks were their main enemy—that they would be willing to forego operations against the Germans in order to fight the Nationalists, and would, if necessary, even oppose Allied landings in Yugoslavia? It was also in March, 1943, that Gen. Rudolf Luters, a German field commander in Yugoslavia, stated:

‘The Chetniks were never our friends…their aim is and remains our destruction.’

…Critics of the Nationalist movement claim that for months General Mihailovich encouraged a live-and-let-live arrangement with the Germans in order to fight the Partisans. Nationalist claims that the Partisans were later doing the same thing were largely dismissed. According to Col. McDowell:

‘The Partisan Army made no serious effort to fight Germans or hinder their retreat, but concentrated on attacking Nationalist troops who in some instances were occupied in attacking Germans.’

Once again, reports from OSS officers with the Partisans confirm the intelligence from Nationalist [Mihailovich] sources:

Don Rider [ASH] in the Vojvodina accompanied Partisan columns which on several occasions passed within one hundred yards of German bunkers with neither side firing a shot.

Major Scott Dickinson [SPIKE] (Macedonia) ‘From the extent of the German movements it was clear that the Partisans were permitting them to get out and were occupying towns and villages as soon after the Germans left as possible.’

Rex Deane [REDWOOD] (Montenegro) The Partisans ‘seemed content to keep out of the Germans’ way and let them get out of the country. No concerted effort was made to stop them or ambush them in any way.’ In Deane’s opinion the Partisans were far more interested in attacking the Chetniks and their supporters than in fighting the Germans. One British commander in the Dubrovnik area because so frustrated with the Partisans that he charged ‘they all should be court-martialed for letting the Germans escape.’

These examples, and others could be cited, confirm precisely the intelligence contained in the reports of McDowell, Ellsworth Kramer, and John Milodragovich—all members of the RANGER Mission with Mihailovich.

Not only were the Partisans allowing the Germans to get out of the country, they were using the bulk of supplies being sent to them by the Allies to fight the Nationalists (Chetniks). In fact, they were receiving so much in the way of supply until they were actually having to store the excess. This fact is confirmed in the reports of Dan Desich, Stephen Galembush, Holt Green, and Rex Deane—all of whom were attached to Partisan units. So much for the Partisan effort to present themselves as the victims of some treacherous collaboration between the Nationalists and the Germans.

Walter Mansfield addressed the collaboration issue very succinctly when he argued that if both major resistance movements were judged by the same standards, one would have to conclude that both movements collaborated, or that neither did so.

…The effort to label General Mihailovich as a collaborator will fail, I would say has failed, because the evidence does not sustain that conclusion. General Mihailovich chose to resist the Germans and Italians at a time when there was absolutely no help available to him from any source. Throughout the war he and his men endured an existence which defies imagination. Walter Mansfield reported that Mihailovich’s forces ‘live under conditions which I would have considered it impossible for them to stand if I had not seen it with my own eyes.’ During one battle, Mansfield saw men with chest and stomach wounds, who when they were unable to find medical attention in the rear lines, simply returned to the front and continued to fight until they died. The wretched condition of Mihailovich’s units led David Martin to write that ‘surely no group of men “collaborated” with the Germans for so poor a return.’

If Draza Mihailovich had been a collaborator, hundreds of American airmen, some of whom may be in the audience this evening, would never again have set foot on American soil. Nationalist troops put their lives on the line and in some cases lost their lives saving American airmen from capture. They later gave what little they had in the way of medical supplies to treat those airmen who were wounded or sick. And with hardly any equipment at all, they provided protection for the airmen who were evacuated at Pranjani. Listen to what Colonel Robert McDowell wrote when he saw the condition of the Nationalist troops guarding the airstrip:

‘To complete our shame, although the American
medical personnel were appalled at the almost
complete lack of medical supplies and equipment
available to the Nationalists, with major operations
performed without anesthetics, and although the
Nationalists gave the Americans the best of what
we had, the only gesture of gratitude on our part
was to replace supplies expended upon the airmen
at the actual point of embarkation.’

(I would note parenthetically that the supplies which were finally sent were sent largely because of the insistence of George Musulin, Nick Lalich, George Vujnovich—operations officer in Bari.)

Then, to make matters worse, McDowell reported that night after night he and members of his team sat around their campfires and heard Allied planes flying overhead to drop supplies to the Partisan—supplies they knew would be used against the Nationalists. Walter Carpenter, a 15th Air Force medical officer sent to Mihailovich’s headquarters to tend the needs of American airmen confirmed this when he later reported:

‘Here we see American weapons and bullets being
furnished by the British daily to kill the enemies of

History has a way of being charitable to winners, particularly when the winners write it. For almost three decades after the Second World War, the history of Allied policy toward Yugoslavia was written by many of the same individuals who shaped policy there in the first place. In short, they were evaluating their own handiwork—a sort of ex-post-facto justification for wartime decisions. In the absence of documentary evidence to the contrary these firsthand accounts were generally accepted as the truth of what had occurred in Yugoslavia. David Martin’s Ally Betrayed was a notable exception, as was Col. Albert Seitz’s Mihailovich: Hoax or Hero. Today, greater revelations from the historical record require that substantial revisions must be made in any credible examination of Yugoslav resistance history and of Allied policy toward the resistance.

Tito was no liberator, nor was Mihailovich a collaborator. The major Allies, particularly Britain, supported Tito and abandoned Mihailovich because they thought it was in their interests to do so. It was the expedient thing to do. Not wishing to justify their policy on the grounds of expediency, however, they sought to discredit Mihailovich by suggesting that he was not fighting the Axis occupation forces or was collaborating with them. After all, it was much easier to defend the abandonment of a “collaborator” than to defend the abandonment of a loyal ally.”


Dr. Kirk Ford, Jr. is the Chairman of the Department of History and Political Science at Mississippi College in Clinton, Mississippi. He is the author of the book OSS and the Yugoslav Resistance 1943-1945, published by Texas A&M University Press, 1992.

This book is an extensively researched, in-depth, objective and truthful analysis of OSS activity attached to both the Mihailovich forces and the Partisan forces under Marshall Tito. Highly recommended for any honest pursuit of research interests in the area of World War Two Yugoslavia and the role played by the United States in relation to the Yugoslav resistance movement against the Axis forces.

Aleksandra Rebic