Free pdf Churchill and Tito: Soe, Bletchley Park and Supporting the Yugoslav Communists in World War II –

One of Churchill s most controversial decisions during the Second World War was to switch SOE support in Yugoslavia infrom the Cetniks loyal to the exiled Royal Government to backing Tito and his Communist Partisan guerrillas It led to a Communist regime in Yugoslavia which lasted until Tito s death in , and the nationalistic sentiments he had suppressed exploding into ethnic violence in the Balkan wars of the s Until now the story has been that SOE was infiltrated by Communists in Cairo and that Fitzroy Maclean, Churchill s personal delegate to Tito, was hoodwinked by the Communist leader, and that Churchill was duped into abandoning the royalists However, the recently deposited papers of Sir Bill Deakin, Churchill s former assistant and an SOE operative in Yugoslavia, reveal that the decision was based upon absolutely solid evidence and in Britain s best military interests The official history of SOE in Yugoslavia was never written, but Deakin was the main adviser to the person deputed to write it and Christopher Catherwood was the first person to examine the papers deposited in Washington These papers reveal that Churchill made his decision based on evidence not just from SOE, but also from MI, SIS and SIGINT at Bletchley Park Christopher Catherwood can now demonstrate that one of Churchill s most significant and consequential decisions of the Second World War was not the terrible mistake that historians have portrayed it During WW II, the British government set up the SOE to support the resistance to Nazi occupation and set Europe ablaze In all occupied countries, the resistance was divided between conservative and communist led movements In 1943, the British government decided to switch its support in Yugoslavia from the Cetniks , followers of the king in exile, to the communist partisans led by Tito This book Churchill and Tito explains the reason of this fateful decision It might have been an extremely interesting book unfortunately it is badly focused and not well written at all.The objective of the book is to dispel the revisionist claims that the decision was the result of a conspiracy of communist agents at Cairo s British headquarters and in the field who fed the British government with fake information The British were convinced that the partisans were ferociously fighting against the Germans while the Cetniks were not fighting, often making truce with the Italians and even the Germans The book uses declassified intelligence documents to show that London had independent proof from decrypts of German communications that indeed the communist partisans were the main resistance to the Germans in Yugoslavia The Wehrmacht needed to keep 17 active divisions in Yugoslavia to fight the partisans the Germans had only 33 divisions to very successfully fight against the Allied armies in Italy Supporting Tito s partisans was thus a very rational decision from the British government And it had unforeseen consequences.Although the Red Army demolished the remnants of the Wehrmacht in Belgrade, the perception was that it was the partisans who had liberated their country The perception was also that Tito and the Yugoslav communists were not put in power by the Red Army, but that they took power by themselves, and without Stalin s approval After the war, Tito s popularity in the international communist movement was equal to Stalin s, which did not go well with the great leader But Tito is one of the very few communist leaders who stood up to Stalin and survived The first major fracture in the communist movement was thus the unintended consequence of British support to the partisans.The book is unfortunately written exclusively as a rebuttal of the conspiracy theory, with identical arguments many times repeated in exactly the same terms from chapter to chapter It contains some interesting anecdotes but it makes very tedious reading The problem with conspiracy theories is that they are not scientific they can never be disproved Conspirationists will add another layer of conspiracy Despite all the evidence, some people believe that the Earth is flat and that the images from space are fake I am convinced that debunking conspiracy theories is a waste of time Writing the history of the Yugoslav partisans and their extraordinary contribution to the defeat of Nazism would make a much interesting story. My husband loved this first book on his E reader.Nicole MD