Mihajlovic, General Draza, 1893-1946

Mihajlovic was a Yugoslavian resistance leader who was superseded by TITO in the middle of the war. He was a Royalist Army Officer in charge of the Operations Bureau of the General Staff when the Germans invaded in April 1941. Following the invasion, Mihajlovic left for Serbia with a small following and established a resistance group called the Cetniks. In the fall of 1941 Mihajlovic was widely publicized by the Allied press and was even supported by the Russians. However the Cetniks were not only dedicated to Serbian interests but were also staunchly anti-Communist. Attempts at co-operation between Mihajlovic and Tito’s partisans foundered during the first campaign against the German occupation (fall 1941). Mihajlovic and his Cetniks attacked Tito in Serbia and were soundly defeated. Mihajlovic then decided not to launch an active campaign against the Nazis but rather to wait for the Nazis to wipe out Tito and his partisans. Not only did he decide not to attack the Germans but decided to collaborate with them as well. In January 1942 he was appointed Commander in Chief of Armed Forces and War Minister of the Yugoslavian government-in-exile. It was not until late in 1942 that the Allies found out what was happening and they soon shifted their support to Tito who rapidly became a national leader. The Yugoslav government-in-exile dismissed Mihajlovic in May 1944 and he had no part in the postwar coalition government. Mihajlovic was tried and executed in 1946.

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