The Rape of Serbia: The British Role in Tito's Grab for Power, 1943-1944

Michael Lees, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P $29.95 (384p) ISBN 978-0-15-195910-5
There were two major resistance movements in Yugoslavia during the war: Tito's Communist Partisans and Draza Mihailovic's Loyalist Chetniks. The author served as British liaison officer with the latter in 1943 and 1944. His memoir describes how Tito deceived Winston Churchill into believing Mihailovic was collaborating with the Germans, which resulted in the abrupt transfer of Allied aid from the Chetniks to the Partisans. The tragic upshot was that Tito then used Allied munitions against the Chetniks after the German retreat, launching an extermination campaign against thousands of rivals and potential enemies. The British prime minister, realizing too late his error in embracing Tito at the expense of Mihailovic, tried to intervene on the latter's behalf but was unable to prevent a Titoist court from convicting him of treason. Mihailovic was executed in 1946. Lees relates this grim story with unrestrained bitterness. His book is a powerful indictment of British wartime policy in the Balkans and an elegy for Yugoslav victims of Tito. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1990
Release date: 07/01/1990
Genre: Nonfiction
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