Letters: Sorry, whose side were the Croats on?

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MARCUS TANNER writes that in the Second World War most Krajina Croats "rallied to the Partisan cause..." ("Sudden death of an ancient community", 13 August). This needs clarifying. Until 1943, 90 per cent of all guerrillas were Serbs and only Croat Communists joined the Partisans. After the fall of Italy in 1943, other Croats started joining. As the Allied victory was becoming a reality, many Ustase also joined Tito.

On the same page, Sarah Helm writes from Zagreb that the "Croat fighters despise the English and the French" ("Coach tour fails to hide the ugly truth"). She quotes a young soldier: "You are on the side of the Serbs. We know that from the Second World War. We can forgive but we will not forget." This is a more correct picture than the one painted by Marcus Tanner. Croatia declared war on Britain, sent troops to fight Soviets at Stalingrad and wholeheartedly collaborated with Nazis in Yugoslavia.

Aleksa Gavrilovic OBE

Stafford

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