A great success of J. B. Tito came when the Soviet State’s Committee of Defence decided on September 7th, 1944 that weapons and equipment for twelve infantry and two air-divisions would be transferred to the NLMY. This military aid was contemplated during the conversation between J. B. Tito and J. V. Stalin in Moscow from September 21st to 28th, 1944. In order to fulfill this decision, the Soviet Government organized a military base in Romania (Craiova). The Soviets continue to deliver war material to the Yugoslav partisans from Bari and started to do it in autumn 1944 as well from Sofia (with trucks) and Craiova (with aircraft and trains). Some military help came also from the Headquarters of the Third Ukrainian Front. During October 1944, from all these Soviet military bases, 295,000 tons of war material was transferred to the NLMY. It can be claimed that this huge Soviet military support, sent to the Yugoslav partisans in October 1944 played a crucial role in the battle for Belgrade (October 18th−20th, 1944). After the Belgrade Operation and the taking of the Yugoslav capital followed by the establishment of their own military and political control, J. B. Tito’s partisans finally won a victory over D. D. Mihailović’s chetniks. As a result, the Yugoslav civil war was resolved in J. B. Tito’s favor with great and crucial Soviet military support. After the Belgrade Operation, the Soviet Government started to send to J. B. Tito food shipments ordered by J. V. Stalin on November 20th, 1944. The first Soviet food aid, comprising 50,000 tons of grain, was delivered to Yugoslavia at the begging of December 1944.
According to the Tito-Tolbuhin agreement signed on November 15th, 1944 in Belgrade, the NLMY received two air divisions and one airbase with technical equipment, weapons, and manpower from the Soviet side. From then until the end of the war, 350 Soviet aircraft were given to the Supreme Headquarters of the NLMY. It is evident that these air-crafts and war materials received from Moscow after the partisan entrance to Belgrade were used by J. B. Tito’s Yugoslav Army for the purpose of taking control over the whole territory of Yugoslavia as well as for entering Trieste on May 1st, 1945. In April 1945 with Soviet support, forty-two storming (IL-2) and eleven hunting (Jak-3) air divisions were formed and included in the Yugoslav Army. During 1944 and the first five months of 1945, the total Soviet support for the NLMY (from January 1st, 1945 transformed into the Yugoslav Army) was: 96,515 rifles; 20,528 pistols; 68,423 machine guns and submachine guns; 3,797 anti-tank’s rifles; 3,364 mortars; 170 anti-tank’s guns; 895 field’s guns; 65 tanks; 491 airplanes and 1,329 radio stations. After the end of the war, all Soviet aircraft from the Bari military base was given to the Yugoslav Army which becomes the fourth largest army in Europe in manpower and military equipment. The total Soviet air support of J. B. Tito’s partisans during the whole war came to 491 aircraft.
Soviet help in training J. B. Tito’s army was also important. From autumn 1944 to February 1945, 107 Yugoslav pilots and 1104 technicians were trained in the USSR. In April 1945, 3,123 members of J. B. Tito’s Yugoslav Army were in Soviet military schools. The total number of Yugoslav pilots and technicians trained in Soviet schools during the war was 4,516.
Soviet medical support sent to the NLMY was variegated and voluminous. It comprised of medical material, medicaments, and hospitals. Soviet doctors gave help to approximately 11,000 soldiers of the NLMY including those soldiers who were hospitalized in Bari. In Yugoslavia, seven Soviet mobile and four surgical field hospitals were operating during the whole war.
The first financial contract between the Yugoslav partisans and the Soviet Government was signed in Moscow in May 1944. J. V. Stalin allowed financial support of $10,000,000. In June 1944, J. B. Tito’s General Velimir Terzić signed a new financial contract, also in Moscow. It was an interest-free loan of $2,000,000 and 1,000 roubles. This financial aid was given by Moscow in order to help the NLMY to develop and organize its own legations, missions and to make new Yugoslav currency. In December 1944, the Soviet Union delivered a three billion new Yugoslav dinars. On January 1st, 1945, the NLMY had $1,233,480 and 300,000 roubles on its own account in Moscow’s Gosbank.
The victory of the socialist revolution in Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union
The Second Session of the ACNLY held in the Bosnian town Jajce (November 29th−30th, 1943), on the territory of the Independent State of Croatia, showed overtly that socialist transformation of the Yugoslav society was the main aim of the CPY and its alleged fight against the occupiers. The conclusions of this session were used by Moscow for its own political purpose in relation to its Western allies and the Yugoslav Government-in-Exile. Moscow refused to sign the Yugoslav-Soviet pact of friendship and co-operation proposed by the Yugoslav Prime Minister Božidar Purić on December 22nd, 1943 with the explanation that the Soviet Government did not see any possibility for negotiations with the Yugoslav Royal Government because of the “totally confused, unclear and unresolved situation in Yugoslavia”. However, the real reason for such a Soviet attitude toward the Yugoslav Government-in-Exile was Moscow’s intention to recognize illegal but revolutionary J. B. Tito’s Government, established in Jajce, as the only, in fact, legal Government of (post-war) Yugoslavia. For the same reason, Moscow rejected the British initiative that the USSR and the UK should pursue a common policy toward Yugoslavia. The Soviet Government recognized the changes in the political organization of the Yugoslav society in the case of communist victory during the (civil) war with a public proclamation of all decisions of the Second Session of the ACNLY via the Free Yugoslavia radio station located in Moscow and controlled by the Comintern and the Soviet Government. At that time, Ralph Stevenson, the new British ambassador at the Yugoslav royal court, observed that it was not possible to think that the Soviet Government could allow anything to be proclaimed on the radio station Free Yugoslavia that was not in accordance with the Soviet policy.
British policy toward Yugoslavia during the war was to help the Yugoslav King, Petar II Karadjordjević to return to his country in order to combine the partisan and chetnik movements into a single guerrilla force against the Germans and other occupiers. The leadership of these united forces would be shared between J. B. Tito and the King. This was proposed by W. Churchill in a letter sent to J. B. Tito on February 5th, 1944. This proposal J. B. Tito delivered to G. Dimitrov in order to get a piece of advice from Moscow. J. B. Tito received G. Dimitrov’s answer on February 8th, 1944 with the next Soviet decisions:
1) The Yugoslav Government-in-Exile had to be dismissed together with General D. D. Mihailović.
2) The Yugoslav Government in the country (the National Committee for Liberation of Yugoslavia) should be recognized by the British Government and other members of the Alliance as the only Yugoslav Government.
3) The Yugoslav King had to be subordinated to the laws issued by the ACNLY.
4) Cooperation with the King would be possible only if Petar II would recognize all decisions proclaimed by the ACNLY in Jajce.
The Soviet Government recognized the NCLY as the only legal Yugoslav Government in May 1944 with the signing of the first financial contract with the NCLY’s mission in Moscow. It was the first international contract that was signed between the NCLY and a foreign Government. This contract was a result of the new Soviet policy toward Yugoslavia which was quite different from Moscow’s attitude toward the Yugoslav political and military situation at the beginning of the war.
Soviet diplomacy during the autumn and winter of 1941 required that J. B. Tito cooperates with D. D. Mihailović’s chetniks. General D. D. Mihailović was officially appointed to the position of Minister of Defence by the Yugoslav Royal Government in London in the winter of 1941. The reason for this Soviet policy at that time was Moscow’s wish to cooperate with both the British and the Yugoslav Governments in consideration of the difficult position of the Red Army right near the Soviet capital. As the position of the Red Army was much better in the summer and autumn of 1942, Moscow started to change its policy toward Yugoslavia by publishing J. B. Tito’s “information” about the collaboration between the chetniks and the occupiers in Yugoslavia. This “information” was sent by J. B. Tito’s partisans to the Comintern with a very political purpose. Such kinds of “information” the Soviet Government continued to receive from the Supreme Headquarters of partisan units in Yugoslavia and after the abolishment of the Comintern in the summer of 1943. During the whole war, the Soviet Government was very well informed about the military situation in Yugoslavia, particularly about the balance of power between the two domestic but ideologically and politically antagonistic guerrilla movements: D. D. Mihailović’s chetniks and J. B. Tito’s partisans. After the battles of Stalingrad and Kursk in 1943, when the USSR won two crucial victories in the war and became the supreme partner in relationships with the USA and the UK, Moscow gradually improved its relations with J. B. Tito. Officially, Moscow supported the British policy of compromise in Yugoslavia. It was a great encouragement for W. Churchill to force the Yugoslav Government-in-Exile to find a modus vivendi with J. B. Tito, but only under the condition that General D. D. Mihailović would be dismissed and that the Yugoslav Royal Government would recognize all decisions issued by the ACNLY in Jajce.
The British Government was well aware that by supporting J. B. Tito its relations with the Yugoslav Government-in-Exile would be deteriorated tremendously. The British vision of the political and military situation in Yugoslavia was expressed in the Memorandum from the British Foreign Office submitted by Anthony Eden to the Cabinet on June 7th, 1944. In this document, J. B. Tito was seen as the victor in the Yugoslav civil war but quite surprisingly a leader who would pursue an independent policy (from the USSR) after the war! According to the authors of the Memorandum, Great Britain should support J. B. Tito in order to benefit later from his policy of independence from J. V. Stalin. At the same time, the Soviet Union was trying to exploit its ideological bonds with the CPY and its guerrilla movement. Surely, in the summer of 1944, London saw in its joint Yugoslav policy with Moscow the best means to reduce J. V. Stalin’s influence on the Yugoslav partisan leader. This can be confirmed by the above-mentioned British Memorandum where full support to the Yugoslav communist-led movement was proposed in order to influence J. B. Tito “to follow a line which would suit us, thus taking the wind off the Russian sails”. It was necessary if Great Britain was planning to play an active role in the Yugoslav (and the Greek) internal affairs. The new British policy regarding Yugoslavia was verified by W. Churchill who proposed to J. B. Tito during their meeting in Naples (Italy) in the summer of the same year that allied (the Anglo-American) military forces, in cooperation with the NLAY would enter Istria.
This common Soviet-British policy of compromise in Yugoslavia achieved a full success when the 1944 Tito-Šubašić Agreement was signed in the Adriatic island of Vis (at that time under the British control) on June 16th, 1944 which J. B. Tito (Croat-Slovene) negotiated in the name of the NCLY and Ivan Šubašić (Croat) in the name of the Yugoslav Government-in-Exile as its Prime Minister. This agreement was a great political victory for J. B. Tito’s partisans, supported by the Soviet Government which announced the conditions of the agreement on radio Free Yugoslavia. The 1944 Tito-Šubašić Agreement required:
1) The federal organization of future Yugoslavia.
2) Recognition of the National Liberation Army of Yugoslavia (led by J. B. Tito) by the Yugoslav Royal Government in London.
3) That the NCLY and the Yugoslav Government in London would create a common Yugoslav Government.
4) That all “anti-fascist” fighting forces in Yugoslavia would be united within the NLAY.
5) That the question of the monarchy in Yugoslavia would be resolved after the war.
The 1944 Tito-Šubašić Agreement gave official sanction to the ACNLY’s decisions and further consolidated the international position of the NLMY. This agreement was signed in full accordance with the Soviet policy and diplomatic tactics. Formally, the Soviet Government cooperated with the Western members of the Alliance but in reality, Moscow supported J. B. Tito in his fight to take power in Yugoslavia. The Soviet press was overwhelmingly on J. B. Tito’s side in 1944 and 1945, charging D. D. Mihailović’s chetniks with collaboration. Indirectly, Moscow charged the Yugoslav Government-in-Exile with the same collaborations with the Germans because General D. D. Mihailović was under its protection.
Finally, a turning point in relations between the Soviet Government and the CPY occurred in September 1944 when J. B. Tito for the first time during the war visited Moscow (escaping from the British control on the Vis island). In three meetings with J. V. Stalin (September 21st-28th, 1944) J. B. Tito made a deal with the Soviet leader to send the Red Army across the Danube in order to support J. B. Tito’s partisans to take the Yugoslav capital before D. D. Mihailović’s chetniks would do so. Likewise, Soviet troops were allowed to operate against the Germans in a limited part of the Yugoslav territory. Officially, the Soviet Government asked J. B. Tito for permission to cross the Danube River and to enter the Yugoslav territory. This Soviet “application” was interpreted by the Americans and the British as the Soviet de facto recognition of the NCLY as the legal Yugoslav Government. The NCLY’s prohibition of the British navy to use the Yugoslav seaports became a part of the 1944 Tito-Stalin Agreement. With full Soviet military support, J. B. Tito’s partisans conquered Belgrade on October 20th, 1944 and immediately introduced the revolutionary “red terror” in the city and soon in the rest of Serbia. The Yugoslav Royal Government and its exponent in the country, General D. D. Mihailović lost the civil war against J. B. Tito and subsequently the Serbs to the Croats. A post-war Titoslavia was nothing else than Serbophobic Greater Croatia. To conclude, the socialist revolution in Yugoslavia achieved a victory through extensive coordination between J. B. Tito’s communists and the Soviet Government.
British diplomacy tried at the last moment to save what could be saved in the Balkans by direct negotiations with the Soviet Government. For that purpose, the British Premier went to Moscow in October 1944 and had a meeting with the Soviet leader. On this occasion, J. V. Stalin and W. Churchill decided on a division of spheres of interests (in percentage) in South-East Europe: in Yugoslavia and Hungary 50:50, in Rumania 90 for the Soviets, in Bulgaria 75 for the Soviets and finally in Greece 90 for Great Britain. Without any doubt, an important consideration for London in granting such concessions to Moscow was the Soviet military penetration into the eastern portion of the Balkans and the real possibility that the Red Army would move rapidly into Central Europe. Thus, the question of Yugoslavia became once again very important in the minds of the creators of the post-war division of spheres of influence. At first sight, it looked like W. Churchill lost the battle over Yugoslavia with J. V. Stalin as immediately after the war J. B. Tito followed J. V. Stalin’s policy of incorporation of the new Yugoslavia into the Soviet bloc. Even in March 1945, W. Churchill complained in vain to J. V. Stalin that (quasi)Marshal J. B. Tito had taken power in Yugoslavia completely, and a little bit later, that Great Britain’s influence in Yugoslav affairs was reduced to less than 10 percent. However, it turned out in 1948−1949, that J. B. Tito’s Yugoslavia left J. V. Stalin’s community of “people’s democratic countries” (however, in fact being expelled from the Informbiro) and continued its existence with substantial Western help to get out of the borderlands of the Pax Sovietica Commonwealth.
The Soviet Union had two types of relations with Yugoslavia during the Second World War:
- The first type was relations with the Yugoslav Royal Government, which was in exile and located in London. This type of relations was officially set up on the diplomatic level and carried out through legislation.
- The other type was relations with the Communist Party of Yugoslavia and its the National Liberation Movement of Yugoslavia. These relations were a secret and illegal carried out at the beginning by radio-apparatus and later by military missions.
The radio-connections between the Communist Party of Yugoslavia and the Soviet Government were carried out through the Comintern until its abolishment in the summer of 1943 and after that personally with G. Dimitrov. These relations were various but the most important was the Soviet material support given to the National Liberation Movement of Yugoslavia. The turning point in these relations occurred in September 1944 when J. B. Tito made a deal with J. V. Stalin in Moscow about real military support by the Red Army in order to crucially help Yugoslav partisans to take power in the country.
Approaching the question of the social revolution in Yugoslavia, the Soviet Government had a double attitude:
- During the first half of the war (till summer of 1943), Moscow mainly supported the British position that in Yugoslavia should be united both of guerrilla movements (J. B. Tito’s partisans and General D. D. Mihailović’s chetniks) into one anti-fascist alliance. During this period, the Comintern required from the Supreme Headquarters of the NLMY to give up socialist propaganda and revolutionary way of taking power.
- After the great victories of the Red Army (the Stalingrad and the Kursk Battles), however, the behavior of the Soviet Government was radically changed. From autumn of 1943, Moscow supported the new (communist) Government in Yugoslavia and pointing its “Yugoslav” policy toward revolutionary (socialist) changes in the country.
Evidently, the Yugoslav partisan movement and the spread of the revolutionary war in Yugoslavia by J. B. Tito’s NLMY were factors which in the eyes of J. V. Stalin, the Comintern and the Soviet Government should have fitted in their own objectives, mainly in a political rather than in military respect. In other words, J. B. Tito’s military efforts were used by Moscow for the Soviet political and geopolitical effects, for which they were often manipulated. The roots of such Soviet policy in Central and South-East Europe run deep, to the established Soviet foreign policy in the 1920s, implemented by the Comintern in the 1930s. This Soviet policy of domination should ensure the obedience of the communist parties in other countries and more important to exert direct Soviet influence over foreign and domestic affairs of those countries under the communist leadership by their incorporation into the Soviet political system of Pax Sovietica Commonwealth. According to J. V. Stalin’s conception of post-war Europe, Yugoslavia should become one link of the Soviet chain composed by East-Central and South-East European socialist countries.
The chetnik movement (or the Ravna Gora’s movement or officially the Yugoslav Army in the Motherland), led by General Dragoljub Draža Mihailović, was the main discord in relationships between the Soviet Government and the Yugoslav Government-in-Exile supported by the British Government (till September 1944). In this relation, the distinctive turning point occurred in December 1942 when Moscow overtly required from London to influence the Yugoslav Royal Government to change its policy toward the chetnik movement based on the false accusations by J. B. Tito’s propaganda about alleged chetnik collaborations with the occupiers.
The crucial support which during the whole war the CPY got from outside of Yugoslavia was that received from the Soviet Union what was the principal reason that the Yugoslav civil war was resolved in the favor of Serbophobic J. B. Tito’s Yugoslav communists. Finally, such Soviet policy towards J. B. Tito’s partisans ultimately benefited the USSR with fixing East-Central and South-East European borderlands of Pax Sovietica on the eastern littoral of Adriatic and eastern Alps. Consequently, “the bridge” connecting Europe and Asia (the Balkans and Asia Minor) became immediately after WWII divided between “Eastern” and “Western” political-military blocks since the major portion of the Balkans and South-East Europe left under the Soviet military, political and economic control while Asia Minor and Greece were dominated by the Western alliance. Furthermore, historical Central Europe was as well divided between the Soviets and the Westerners on East-Central Europe and West-Central Europe. At last, the political, military, and economic division of Europe on Pax Sovietica and Pax Occidentalica was sanctioned by “big three” on the Yalta and the Potsdam Conferences in 1945.
To make a final conclusion, during WWII, the allied plans were not so much concerned with the contribution made by resistance movements to the overall war effort as with the political and geopolitical importance such movements might acquire, to the detriment of the interests of some of the global Great Powers and their agreements. The civil war in Yugoslavia in 1941−1945 and the politics of the allies toward it, especially of the USSR, serve as a good illustration of the above.
Reposts are welcomed with the reference to ORIENTAL REVIEW.
 N. Antić, S. Joksimović, M. Gutić, Narodnooslobodilačka vojska Jugoslavije, Beograd, 1982.
 Коммунист, “Новые документы Великой отечественной войны”, Москва, сентябрь 1979.
 Советские вооруженные силы в борбе за освобождение народов Югославии, Moscow, 1960, 49.
 Zbornik dokumenata i podataka o Narodnooslobodilačkom ratu naroda Jugoslavije, X/2, Vojno-istorijski institut jugoslovenske armije, Beograd, 1967, 412.
 V. Strugar, Jugoslavija 1941–1945, Beograd, 1969.
 Антосяк А. (редактор), “Документй о советско-югославском боевом содружестве в годы второй мировой войны”, Военно-исторический журнал, V, Moscow, 1978, 71.
 Советские вооруженные силы в борбе за освобождение народов Югославии, Moscow, 1960, 50; L. S. Spasić, “Jugoslovensko-sovjetske medicinske veze u Narodnooslobodilačkom ratu”, Acta historica medicinae pharmaciae, veterine, XVI-1, Beograd, 1976, 59.
 Н. А. Ратников, В борбе с фашизмом, о совместных боевых действиях, советских и югославских войск в годы второй мировой войны, Mосква, 1974, 105.
 Arhiv Centralnog Komiteta Komunističke Partije Jugoslavije, Jugoslovenske vojne misije u Sovjetskom Savezu, Beograd, 1944, 371−375.
 In fact, the partisans very much collaborated with the Germans, ustashi, and Albanians during the whole war [М. Самарџић, Сарадња партизана са Немцима, усташама и Албанцима, Крагујевац, 2006].
 D. Biber D, (urednik), Tito-Churchill: Strogo tajno, Beograd−Zagreb, 1981, 67.
 D. Biber D, (urednik), Tito-Churchill: Strogo tajno, Beograd−Zagreb, 1981, 83−84.
 M. Dželebdžić, (urednik), Dokumenti centralnih organa KPJ, NOR i revolucija (1941−1945), XV, Beograd, 1986, 449.
 About the Governments of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in WWII, see in [К. Николић, Владе Краљевине Југославије у Другом светском рату, Београд, 2008].
 J. B. Tito, Jugoslavija u borbi za nezavisnost i nesvrstanost, Sarajevo, 1977, 114−122; E. Kardelj, Sećanja, Beograd, 1980, 59−61.
 However, the chetniks of D. D. Mihailović have been, in fact, the only fighters against the Germans and the ustashi in WWII in Yugoslavia [М. Самарџић, Борбе четника против Немаца и усташа 1941−1945., I−II, Крагујевац, 2006].
 V. Strugar, Jugoslavija 1941–1945, Beograd, 1969, 265−268.
 Such “red terror” was done through formal instrumentalization of anti-fascism but for the real purpose of eliminating revolution enemies. This terror was only partially motivated by war, “revenge ethos”, even personal reasons, which necessarily follow almost all wars in history. The larger part of this terror represented the first phase of a well-planned communist revolution, whose aim was to gradually eliminate its class and political enemies. At first, it was done by liquidations without trials, directed by the secret police. Later on, formed political trials, mostly under the accusation of war crimes or some kind of collaboration, took over in Serbia and the rest of Yugoslavia [С. Цветковић, „Репресија комунистичког режима у Србији на крају Другог светског рата са освртом на европско искуство“, З. Јањетовић (уредник), 1945: Крај или нови почетак?, Београд, 2016].
 About J. B. Tito and Serbs, i.e his Serbophobia, see in [П. Симић, Тито и Срби, I−II, Београд, 2016/2018].
 J. B. Tito, Jugoslavija u borbi za nezavisnost i nesvrstanost, Sarajevo, 1977, 13.
 About the chetnik of Ravna Gora’s movement in WWII, see in [К. Николић, Историја Равногорског покрета, I−III, Београд, 1999].