Friday, June 09, 2017

Halyard Mission commander Lieutenant George "Guv" Musulin of the American O.S.S. confronts Allied assistance to the Yugoslav Communists in WWII

Lieutenant George "Guv" Musulin of the American O.S.S. Serbia 1944
Aleksandra's Note: The following text is very revealing about how badly General Draza Mihailovich and his Chetniks were betrayed by the Allies in WWII Yugoslavia. O.S.S. (Office of Strategic Services) Halyard Mission Commander George "Guv" Musulin read the situation perfectly and attempted to rectify it, confronting Allied (British and American) assistance to the Yugoslav communists (the Partisans under the command of Marshal Tito) in 1944.

Aleksandra Rebic



Shadows on the Mountain: The Allies, the Resistance, and the Rivalries that Doomed WWII Yugoslavia

By Marcia Christoff Kurapovna

Back at Ravna Gora, now early autumn September 1944, the leadership of the evacuations of the airmen had been taken over by Captain Nick A. Lalich, replacing George Musulin, who left Mihailović territory, ostensibly called back to Bari to prepare new escape route maps. As seen earlier, the British Foreign Office distrusted Musulin, Tito was suspicious of Musulin, and SOE Cairo did not think too highly of him either. Even members of his own camp voiced their dislike. “Musulin and [George] Vujnovich are not to be trusted, ” wrote the decidedly pro - Partisan Louis Huot in an OSS memo on the Halyard mission. “They both have strong, immature opinions.”[1] Such views had further consequences. Musulin, although he was leader of the rescue mission that would oversee the evacuation of several hundred Allied airmen, never received any acknowledgment or any replies to the messages he sent out. When he went to the OSS office in Bari, Italy, in late May 1944 to check his personnel file, none of the messages he had sent out of Yugoslavia were in it. None had been forwarded by SOE.

Musulin did have a chance to strike back, offering his observations in a postmission report to the OSS on the consequences of such behind-the-scenes politics. He wrote:

“Tito’s soldiers say that they have to fight Mihailovich’s men to get through to attack the Germans and such key targets in Serbia as enemy truck lines and mines producing copper, chrome, and lead from Germany. Mihailovich says that the Partisans attack his forces in an attempt to wipe out Serb resistance to Partisans efforts to win the civil war and establish Communism. The British have made commitments to supply Balkan resistance groups and they supply only the Partisans. More than half of these supplies are made in America and are dropped mostly from DC 3s piloted by Americans operating under British control. It naturally follows that Tito’s men are using these American arms against both the Germans and the Chetniks. Mihailovich and his group are not pro German but rather are most friendly to the United States and have offered assistance and cooperation in taking care of American airmen, protecting them from the Germans and making arrangements to evacuate them. The British policy is to give full support to the Partisans and in supplying them to fight the enemy they are also giving them arms for the domination of the whole of Yugoslavia as a result of winning the civil war. If American underwriting of Tito and the British policy in Yugoslavia may be considered as the result of giving the British American arms with which
they can supply the Partisans, we are most definitely doing that very thing.”[2]

[1] OSS Memo, August 12, 1943. OSS Record Group 226, Entry 99, Box 50, Folder 5. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington DC, College Park, MD.

[2] OSS memo, Chief SO to Commanding Officer, Co. B 2677, Reg. OSS, “ Lieutenant George S. Musulin ’ s Report on Observations and Activities While on Mission to Mihailovitch, Part 2, ” July 10, 1944; OSS Record Group 226, NND #917174, National Archives, College Park, MD.

Shadows on the Mountain: The Allies, the Resistance, and the Rivalries that Doomed WWII Yugoslavia - Pages 208-209


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