Friday, August 21, 2015

Hoodwinking Churchill – Book reveals one of UK’s biggest WW2 mistakes / "Britić - The British Serb magazine" August 16, 2015

Britić - The British Serb magazine
August 16, 2015


British Serbs, especially the post-WW2 generation, have long been troubled by why Churchill switched sides from the Yugoslav Royalists to the Partisan Communists during WW2. This book presents a British view of new evidence which has come to light. The book argues that Britain’s wartime leader was duped by two left-wing advisers into making one of his worst mistakes.

Author Peter Batty, is a journalist who became editor of the BBC’s Tonight news programme. He answers why Churchill who was famously anti-communist suddenly support Tito’s partisans. We quote the description of the controversial book, subtitled Tito’s Great Confidence Trick, which pierces today’s version of WW2 history in Yugoslavia.

Grasping the opportunity of the new information recently come to light, some of which he contributed, the author reveals how Britain’s staunchly anti-communist Prime Minister was deceived into giving his full backing to the communist Tito and cutting all aid to the anti-communist forces resisting the Germans in Yugoslavia. But for that decision, the author argues, Tito would not have overcome his political opponents and have emerged as the country’s undisputed ruler after the war. Churchill relied on information provided by two trusted advisors, Fitzroy Maclean and William Deakin, who passed on without verification what Tito told them. The deception was compounded by a communist mole at SOE headquarters in Cairo who withheld or doctored information from liaison officers with the anti-communist leader, Draza Mihailovic. The author explodes the myth of Tito as the heroic Partisan leader, plucked from obscurity by Churchill, who, unlike the rest of occupied Europe, fought the Germans throughout the war, liberating his country virtually unaided. The evidence is otherwise:

  • Tito used the munitions received from the British and Americans, not to kill Germans as promised to Churchill, but mostly to eliminate his political rivals.

  • He accused his political opponents of accepting weapons from the Italians while he was proposing joint action to the Germans to resist an Allied landing in the Balkans.

  • The Partisans’ pestering of the Germans did little to hinder Hitler’s utilisation of the local abundance in oil and minerals, so vital to the German war machine.

  • The German retreat from Yugoslavia was largely unharassed by Tito’s Partisans, to Churchill’s intense chagrin.

  • It was the Red Army which really freed Yugoslavia, not Tito’s Partisans.

  • At the end of the war he massacred in cold blood countless thousands of anti-communist Yugoslavs handed over to him by the British in good faith.

  • Within weeks of his much-vaunted ‘difference of opinion’ with Stalin in June 1948 Tito was keenly trying to rejoin the Soviet camp.

  • 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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    1 comment:

    1. The same argument was made a quarter century ago by Michael Lees in "The Rape of Serbia." Lees was a British Army officer serving as an SOE agent with loyalist forces in Yugoslavia during the critical period 1943-1944 when the decision to betray Mihailovic was taken. It is my own conclusion that Tito was an NKVD impostor and not in fact Josip Broz. Anyone who heard Tito palletize his consonants preceding hard vowels concluded that he was not of south slav origin. Based on the NKVD recruiting pattern of the time, my guess is Galician jew.