Dragoljub Draža Mihailović was born in Ivanjica, in western Serbia, on April 27th, 1893. Of all the buildings from that era, in modern day Ivanjica only one still exists – the church in which Draža was baptized.
Our research starts at this church.
After the death of his parents, Draža and his sisters were adopted by their uncle in Belgrade.
In Belgrade, Draža completed grammar school with excellent grades. It was the Third Male Grammar School in the center of the capital city. That building still exists today.
Draža graduated from Military Academy with excellent grades. He was a decorated war hero from the First and the Second Balkan Wars, and the First World War.
He also graduated from the Military Academy College and became a professor of Strategy and tactics at the Military Academy in Belgrade.
Draža specialised in diplomacy and intelligence whilst in France. On the eve of the Second World War he was the leading expert on guerrilla warfare in the Yugoslav Army. At that time, guerrilla warfare was considered localized and limited, and guerrilla formations were only company sized. But according to Draža’s theory, guerrilla formations could be large and are engaged in total war. He was soon to put this theory into practice.
On April 6th, 1941, the Axis powers attacked the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, and all resistance was crushed after 12 days. Mihailović, then a Colonel, started rebuilding an Army. In the summer 1941 he had 100 Chetnik units which were engaged in fighting the Germans.
The Yugoslav government, which was exiled in London, as all governments of occupied countries were, promoted Mihailović to the rank of General and made him Minister of Defence as he managed to create the largest guerrilla force in Europe.
In December 1941 the Germans put a price on Mihailović’s head for the first time, and free French radio broadcast the first news about his achievements. That news was then transmitted by other Western media, and a world wide media campaign started.
Press all over the free world began writing about him; he was depicted in comics and even became the hero of a Hollywood movie (“Chetniks! The Fighting Guerrillas”, 1943)
Allied liaison officers were present in Draža's HQ throughout almost the entire war.
After Germany attacked the USSR on June 22nd, 1941, Yugoslav Communists created their own armed formations called the Partisans. The Communist party of Yugoslavia was outlawed in 1921, for terrorism, when they failed in their attempt to conduct a revolution with Soviet backing.
However, the Communists used the chaos of war to try and storm to power. So, Mihailović was forced to fight a civil war as well as to fight against the Axis powers. The Communists were led by Josip Broz Tito.
The Communist International (the Comintern), based in Moscow, began its anti-Mihailović campaign in August 1942 in the Communist party of Sweden's Gazzette. That campaign echoed in Comintern medias around the world. As the Red Army gained momentum on the Eastern front, the campaign spread into other medias, including the BBC. The greatest media twist in WWII was around the corner.
The media twist was followed by the political about-face. In so far insufficiently explained circumstances, the Western allies abandoned Mihailović and transferred their support to the Yugoslav Communists.
In the film, that topic is covered by: Professor Dr. Kirk Ford, America's greatest authority on the Balkans in World War II; Gregory Freeman, author of the book “The Forgotten 500“; and former Green Beret officer; and Dr. Miloš Kostić, who was a Chetnik courier during the war.
People who knew Draža, like Dr. Dušan Đukić, son of General Đukić and Captain Uroš Šušterič from Ljubljana, who was in Serbia during the war talk about Mihailović as a person.
Aleksandar Ajzenberg, a a Jewish survivor, testifies how Mihailović saved Jews from the Nazis.
The film “General Draža Mihailović“ shows clips from dozens of sites where crucial events took place.
The sites were filmed during different seasons.
All footage is in HD resolution.
The film “General Draža Mihailović“ is the first Serbian movie showing digitised archive footage from previous wars in Full HD resolution.
American OSS (later: CIA) tried to change the course of the events, i.e. to stop the Sovietisation of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. So they sent Colonel Dr. Robert McDowell into Mihailović's HQ.
In the autumn of 1944, General Mihailović and Colonel McDowell were having a hard time. Dramatic change was captured by the cameras. In the photo taken in September, they are optimists. In the photo taken in October, they are disappointed.
This is the first movie that throws some light on how General Mihailović was captured in March 1946.
Also, the film demystifies the trial of General Mihailović in summer of that year. The original transcripts, which are still not easily accessible to researchers, as well as audio and video recordings from the trial, are used in the film.
Witnesses who never before spoke about this reveal the secret: How and where was General Mihailović murdered?
The film will show the murder scene, for the first time in public.
The film also shows where General Mihailović is buried.
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