Letter: Tito 'pulled the wool' over British eyes in war-torn Yugoslavia

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The Independent Online
CAL McCRYSTAL has been misinformed about General Draza Mihailovic, leader of the non-Communist Chetnik resistance fighters in Yugoslavia.

After reading 'Dropping in for plots and plum brandy' (16 August) I am compelled to take the view that Tito and his forces were very successful in 'pulling the wool' over the eyes of the wartime British mission to Yugoslavia.

In the summer of 1941 Draza Mihailovic, then a Major on the Yugoslav General Staff, had already taken part in the coup against the Regent Paul and the quasi-Fascist Government of Stoyadinovic, while Tito was still neutral.

Mihailovic wreaked such havoc on the Nazis that King George VI sent him a war trunk of gold worth dollars 10,000 in 1942 while General de Gaulle awarded the Croix de Guerre to the Chetnik leader.

American officers saw the Communist partisans helping the Nazis by attacking Yugoslav villages in 1944] (My source is an article by David Martin, the Canadian socialist, The New Leader, Washington DC, 13 April 1946).

Finally it was very important to Stalin, with his plans for Marxist hegemony in Europe, to have as many Allied non-Communist resistance leaders as possible successfully slandered and dead.

John Cotter

London W5