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The Forgotten Surrender

The End of the Second World War in Yugoslavia

In: International Journal of Military History and Historiography
Author:
Gaj Trifković Vienna, Austria trifkovg@gmail.com

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English-language historiography has paid scant attention to the events in Yugoslavia in spring 1945, despite the fact that the combined strength of the armies pitted against each other amounted to around 800,000 men, and that it was the only front in Europe which was held independently by a junior member of the anti-Hitler coalition. This article provides an analysis of both the capitulation of the German Army Group E, and the widely diverging descriptions of the same event offered by German and Yugoslav authors. The main argument presented here is that the Yugoslav leadership, prompted by both internal and foreign policy considerations, did not shirk from using less-than-honourable methods to achieve its aims. In doing this, the article will also provide insights into the functioning of the historiography of the socialist era when dealing with potentially embarrassing issues.

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