Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Legion of Merit Citation

"General Dragoljub Mihajlovic distinguished himself in an outstanding manner as Commander-in-Chief of the Yugoslavian Armed Forces and later as Minister Of War by organising and leading important resistance forces against the enemy which occupied Yugoslavia from December 1941 to December 1944. Through the undaunted efforts of his troops, many United States airmen were rescued and returned safely to friendly control. General Mihajlovic and his forces, although lacking adequate supplies, and fighting under extreme hardships, contributed materially to the Allied cause and were materially instrumental in obtaining a final Allied Victory."

- Legion of Merit award citation given by Harry S. Truman, President
The White House, March 29, 1948

(found at Balkans Repository Project)


Wim Roffel said...

If you want to study the Balkan in World War II I can recommend "Sons of the Eagle" by Julian Amery. This man was British secret agent with the royalists in Albania. As one of the few British in that time he was critical of the communists in the Balkan. After the war he became a parlementarian in Britain. He has accurate observations on how the communists became the dominant power in Albania, Yugoslavia and Greece.

Among his observations:
- it is true that the communists did more resistance.
This has to do with the composition of the organisation. The communists consisted mostly of students and other young unmarried people. They didn't care very much when the Germans and Italians retaliated for an attack. It even suited them: people who had lost their homes were easy to recruit. Other organisations were more cautious with their people.
- it is true that non-communists collaborated with the Germans. The problem was that communists attacked all other organisations one by one. People who face the prospect of being massacred are prepared to ask anybody for help. But this collaboration was usually very pragmatic and didn't go much beyond fighting together against the same enemy.
- the British supported the communists on Balkan - even when they knew that the weapons were used to attack other resistance groups. Only in Greece they saved a bit of the situation by forcing the communists to work together with the other resistance groups.

The book is out of print, but there is an Albanian reprint.

Unknown said...

- it is true that the communists did more resistance.

- it is true that non-communists collaborated with the Germans.

Not true.

- the British supported the communists on Balkan

Totally true.