August 16, 2015
That it has taken so long for the full story to emerge, the author suggests, is due to a concerted cover-up by a generation who had a vested interest in sustaining the myths surrounding Tito which they had helped to beget. In this the BBC played a controversial part. In essence, this account is a revisionist biography of Tito, puncturing the wartime myths surrounding the communist leader.
Peter Batty wrote this illuminating paper (click here) on the the story behind this book for CRCE – the Centre for Research into Post-Communist Economies. He is remarkably forthright about the problems he encountered at the BBC when making a two-part Timewatch programme about Churchill’s dark secret in 1992:
"Imagine my horror when I discovered that behind my back the first one had been heavily censored: criticisms of Maclean and William Deakin were softened, especially the criticisms of Maclean’s 1943 Blockbuster Report. Mentions of Ustasha atrocities against Serbs had been removed and references to the notorious Soviet spy James Klugmann’s skullduggery in Cairo cut or watered down, as were references to Tito’s anti-British attitudes during the war. Even hints of Churchill’s ill-health in December 1943 had been removed. Deakin’s personal relationship with Churchill was downplayed and Maclean’s extravagant claims of elite German divisions allegedly tied down by the Partisans went unchallenged. Maclean was said to have spent “a few months in Yugoslavia” before writing his Report whereas in fact he was there barely a few weeks. And so on, and so on. The film-editor told me that almost 200 changes had been made. He had been forbidden to talk to me. Indeed for a while I was denied access to BBC premises when my pass-card was electronically cancelled."
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