By Simon C. Trew
Casting new gentle on a debatable point of wartime British international coverage, this publication strains the method during which the British specialists got here to provide their backing to Colonel Draza Mihailovic, chief of the non-Communist resistance move which emerged after the Axis invasion of Yugoslavia in April 1941. It additionally examines why British self assurance in Mihailovic used to be to that end eroded, to the purpose the place critical attention used to be given to moving aid to his avowed enemies, the Communist-led Partisans.
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Additional info for Britain, Mihailovic and the Chetniks, 1941-42
This was obviously even more so the case with the 'secret armies', the large forces which SOE was hoping to build up among the European populations, than it was with regular sabotage work. It was all very well claiming that all one had to do was supply weapons and the continent would rise up on Britain's command, but firsdy, this was always going to be at some undefined point in the future; secondly, the more weapons went to SOE, the fewer there would be for others and the longer would the invasion of Europe be delayed; The SOE, the Yugoslavs and European Resistance 25 and thirdly, should SOE be wrong, the consequence would be disaster for all.
If this reaction appeared to be rapid and unquestioning, certain factors should be borne in mind. First, the general climate of opinion at this time remained proYugoslav, and in particular, pro-Serb. 34 This was undoubtedly reinforced in the Near and Middle East by the fact that the main British and Yugoslav protagonists were well known to one another, and the former regarded the latter as having more than proved their anti-Axis credentials. Thus there was a climate of trust as yet unbroken by the intrigues and arguments which were characteristic of later years.
In terms of SOE's relations with the Yugoslav Government, and thus with the Foreign Office, the greatest potential difficulty lay in Dalton's personal concept of European resistance. Convinced that large-scale resistance activities could only come from a radicalised The SOE, the Yugoslavs and European Resistance 29 population, and influenced by his own political sympathies and contacts, Dalton argued that Britain's natural allies on the continent were not the bourgeoisie or military men, but the political Left.