Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

Invasion of Yugoslavia

Discussion in 'Eastern Europe October 1939 to February 1943' started by Heinz_Guderian, Apr 27, 2010.

  1. Heinz_Guderian

    Heinz_Guderian Dishonorably Discharged

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    1
    On March 25, 1941 in Vienna, Prince Paul (Pavle), Regent of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, signed the Tripartite Pact.

    On March 27, the regime was overthrown by a military coup d'état with British support, and the 17 year old King Peter II of Yugoslavia seized power. General Dušan Simović became Peter's Prime Minister and the Kingdom of Yugoslavia initially tried to dissolve the Pact but later declared adherence to it.
    The initial agreement of the document also regarded Yugoslavia's acceptance of the free movement of German troops around the country; this was unsatisfactory to the Führer, and resulted in the Invasion of Yugoslavia.

    People went on streets of Belgrade and shouted "Better war then pact , better grave then slave ". There are many witnesses that claimed that there were only about 600 people on streets at that time.

    This action was organised by communists and Britain Intelligence Service just to satisfy the needs of Churchill to join other countries to fight with him.

    This led to break of Yugoslavia , Hitler declared a war to Yugoslavia and in 11 days Yugoslavia capitulated.

    Government fled , King fled. There was chaos. A sad moment in history. And not known to many of you.
     
  2. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
    Messages:
    9,403
    Likes Received:
    1,364
  3. Fallschirmjäger 1

    Fallschirmjäger 1 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    3
    There's a few books on this in my university library. I love to read about the Balkans and I agree, this is often overlooked. Croatia's decision to side with Germany and fight against the Serbians would be used as propaganda by Milosevic in the early 1990's. Also, the Jasenovac concentration camp is never really discussed when talking about the Holocaust, but just looking at the number of people who perished there and in other camps in Yugoslavia shows you just how brutal this part of the war was.

    Ustaše - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jasenovac_concentration_camp
     
  4. Heinz_Guderian

    Heinz_Guderian Dishonorably Discharged

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    1
    Yeah , Croatians took the Opportunity to take things in their hands. There goal was to create independent state of Croatia.

    And i quote Mile Budak (Mile Budak - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) : "1/3 of the Serbs we kill, 1/3 of the Serbs we expell and 1/3 of the Serbs we convert to Catholicism "

    Their "holy work " in Jasenovac was approved by Vatican and never approved by Hitler.

    Over 700 000 Serbs was killed in this Death Camp but it was never revealed and never fully investigated to the end. (other side say 40 000 )

    [​IMG]

    This weapon was design only to kill Serbs and it's called "Srbosjek" aka "SerbCutter"

    From Wikipedia

    Ustaše activities in villages across the Dinaric Alps led to the Italians and the Germans expressing disquiet. As early as July 10, 1941, Wehrmacht General Edmund Glaise von Horstenau reported the following to the German High Command, the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW):
    “ Our troops have to be mute witnesses of such events; it does not reflect well on their otherwise high reputation... I am frequently told that German occupation troops would finally have to intervene against Ustaše crimes. This may happen eventually. Right now, with the available forces, I could not ask for such action. Ad hoc intervention in individual cases could make the German Army look responsible for countless crimes which it could not prevent in the past.[21] ”
    A Gestapo report to Reichsführer SS Heinrich Himmler, dated February 17, 1942, stated that:
    “ Increased activity of the bands [of rebels] is chiefly due to atrocities carried out by Ustaše units in Croatia against the Orthodox population. The Ustaše committed their deeds in a bestial manner not only against males of conscript age, but especially against helpless old people, women and children. The number of the Orthodox that the Croats have massacred and sadistically tortured to death is about three hundred thousand.[21]
     
  5. thunder_love

    thunder_love Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2012
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    0
    For us Macedonians, who were on the neither side,since we were soliciting support from all sides to acquire nationhood,the Bulgarian armies were greeted as liberators but on 8/22/41 the Macedonian under the leadership of Metodija Satorov-Sarlo rose against the Germans and the Bulgarians.
     
  6. Baybars

    Baybars New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    4
    Politically, Kingdom of Yugoslavia was a very unstable country. Yet, Hitler was aware that he needed to prevent Yugoslavia from siding with England in order to fully secure his southern flank in Europe. He first tried to achieve that by way of a treaty. When it became clear that political instability in Yugoslavia was putting its adherence to the treaty in doubt, German troupes invaded the country.
     
  7. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2008
    Messages:
    3,223
    Likes Received:
    447
    Yugoslavia, as recent events confirmed, was a mix of different groups just as likely to fight each other as to cooperate. Historically I believe it was British meddling that triggered the explosion, Hitler was satisfied with the pact he had and was not interested in stirring trouble along his link to the very important Ploesti oil fields. Mussolini was another story, without the pact it's quite likely he would have attacked Yugoslavia rather than Greece. Some pages from Ciano's diary show he was planning an attack in 1940 before the French collapse convinced him he had to side with Germany.
    Balkan politics tend to be bloody, Nationalism is strong and reinforced by deep religious differences, to make things worse during (and after) WW2 Communism added to a mix not known for it's tolerance of "different neighbours".
     
  8. Baybars

    Baybars New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    4
    Hi TiredOldSoldier. The enmity amongst different ethnic groups in Yugoslavia is indeed a complex topic with many facets to it. Yet, the most important one in the run-up to April 1941 invasion was that between independence-seeking Croatian and Serbian elites, who were unionists. That said, the role of the English was indeed crucial at that time. It is interesting that the new Government, installed after the putsch, in fact recognised Yugoslavia's accession to the Tripartite Pact. Yet, it was clear to the Germans that it was the English who had supported the putsch, which meant that the new Government was an unlikely German ally and more importantly, whilst officially being part of the Pact, Yugoslavia would have been likely to aid the allied war effort. Hitler would not tolerate that. Hence the retaliatory bombing of Belgrade and subsequent invasion. Plus, Hitler knew full well that Yugoslavia was far from unified internally and he was also acutely aware of Yugoslavia's neighbours' interest in annexing parts of the Yugoslav territory. With all this in mind, invasion was a no-brainer. That is also why Germany ignored all approaches by the new Yugoslav Government. It is difficult to argue what would have happened had there not been a putsch on 27. March 1941. Maybe Yugoslavia would have lasted to this day. Or perhaps the internal discords, along with neighbours' territorial aspirations would have torn the country apart in a couple of months' time anyway. One could also speculate that Hitler would have protected Yugoslavia from those forces, but for how long. Also, there was the big question of Hitler's stance to Yugoslavia's quasi-neutrality once the situation in the East started to deteriorate. Some would say that had there not been the invasion of Yugoslavia in April 1941, Hitler would have attacked the USSR a couple of weeks earlier, which could have made all the difference Germany needed to win the war in Europe. All those speculations make for troublesome counterfactuals. What really happened was that Yugoslavia, beset with many political problems, managed to buy itself an unspecified amount of time on 25. March 1941. It so happened that it only bought itself 12 days. I do not disagree with your argument that the English did a disservice to Yugoslavia in the immediate aftermath of the latter's accession to the Tripartite Pact. Yet, what we will never know for sure is the true extent of that disservice, as we cannot fathom how the alternative history would have unravelled in those highly tumultuous times. As for your reference to more recent events, i.e. those of the 1990s, those were triggered by the grave disagreements between the secessionists and unionists, both having been willing to seek a military solution to their political aspirations. Clearly, secessionists had their way and Yugoslavia yet again fell apart. However, this time round, there is very little to suggest that it will ever rise again. After all, the concept of Yugoslavia was never bases on ethnicity, but on ideology. So is the USA, one could argue. True, but whilst the USA is the most powerful and arguably the wealthiest country in the world, Yugoslavia was always relatively poor and weak, which proved to be its ultimate undoings. A bit off topic here, but the EU seems to resemble Yugoslavian concept rather a lot. It will be interesting to see how it would shape up going forward. Going back to the topic, maybe what Hitler appreciated about Yugoslavia was its diversity and the fact that it was kept together by military force and rotten compromises, much like what he had in mind for continental Europe.
     
    green slime likes this.
  9. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2011
    Messages:
    1,661
    Likes Received:
    67
    The invasion of Yugoslavia did not affect Barbarossa, it was the late spring thaw that delayed the attack. The offense was so quick the tank units were available just two weeks after the invasion and the units for Greece were not needed until later. They were part of 2nd army which was to be activated until after the east end of the pripyet swamps were reached.
     
  10. knightdepaix

    knightdepaix Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2015
    Messages:
    269
    Likes Received:
    6
    I read a YouTube video comment by a self-claimed Serbian who presumably typed that his Yugoslavia wanted to stay neutral.

    After ww1, why not let Croatia and Bosnia be independent nations while Slovenia be still under Austria to create an exit to the Adriatic Sea?
     

Share This Page