From the leading article in The Western Morning News and Daily Gazette
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.
Post a Comment