By Simon C. Trew
Casting new mild on a arguable element of wartime British international coverage, this booklet strains the method during which the British professionals got here to provide their backing to Colonel Draza Mihailovic, chief of the non-Communist resistance circulation which emerged after the Axis invasion of Yugoslavia in April 1941. It additionally examines why British self assurance in Mihailovic was once for that reason eroded, to the purpose the place severe attention was once given to moving help to his avowed enemies, the Communist-led Partisans.
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Extra info for Britain, Mihailovic and the Chetniks, 1941-42
Indeed, if Britain and SOE had little to show for their efforts over the previous two years, it is arguable whether they were to derive any greater satisfaction from their exertions over the next two. Despite its unimpressive performance in Yugoslavia in 1940-41, British relations with the Chetniks were largely to be channelled through the Special Operations Executive. Significant influence was also brought to bear through the use of the BBC and other propagandistic bodies, but it was via the British liaison officers serving with Mihailovic and his forces that direct liaison was maintained.
He acted as assistant under-secretary to Dalton, supervising all of SOE's major policy aspects and liaising with the armed services, the Foreign Office and other departments. The core of SOE, therefore, was Section D of the SIS, and D's efforts had been most highly developed in the Balkans. Indeed, Bickham Sweet-Escott, who had joined the department in spring 1940, has remarked that in the summer of that year 'the Balkan section of D was the only really operative part of the organisation'. D's operations at that time were centred on the Yugoslav capital, Belgrade, under the command of a businessman long resident in the Balkans, (Colonel) Julius Hannau.
But although Britain was to be only one factor in the overall equation, she was arguably to play a part of great significance in determining the fate of hundreds of thousands of lives, and those of one group in particular - the Chetniks. 2 T h e Special Operations Executive (SOE), the Yugoslavs and European Resistance British strategy in 1939 had been based on the belief that Britain could not provide a large army to fight on the continent; instead, she would make her contribution in other areas.
Britain, Mihailovic and the Chetniks, 1941-42 by Simon C. Trew