17th July 1946 the Execution of Draza Mihailovic

Draza Mihailovic: Fooled the Axis, fooled the Allies, but ultimately fooled himself

Today, we make brief note of the execution 70 years ago of the notorious Serbian Chetnik leader – General Dragoljub ‘Draža’ Mihailović – for war crimes and collaboration with the Nazis and Italians during the Second World War.  Rejected at the end by all his family save his wife and forgotten in an unmarked grave, the tragic demise of ‘Uncle Draža’ would have been unimaginable just five years previously, when – claiming the title ‘The Yugoslav Army in the Fatherland’ for his Chetnik guerilla force – Mihailović ‘s widely-reported will o’the wisp behaviour had led General De Gaulle to call him the ‘pure hero’ and 20th Century Fox had lauded Mihailović in the Hollywood propaganda movie ‘Chetniks! The Fighting Guerillas’. But all the while handsome Hollywood 30-ish hunk Philip Dorn was, on the big screen, portraying the 50-plus specky beardo as the unequivocal and unconditional Balkan hero, thousands of miles away in the field of battle, General Mihailović was in truth so afraid to act against the Germans for fear of reprisals against the Serbian civilian population that, after much prevarication, he even preferred to turn his guns on Tito’s Partisans, for fear that their anti-Nazi behaviour might ignite more German atrocities. From the Zorro character that had inspired Hollywood moguls, General Mihailović gradually, inexorably performed a 180’ volte face and even began to collaborate with the Nazis, taking money from them while still collecting supplies and weaponry from the Allies. And there could be only one cruel and conclusive final outcome for this one-time national hero once Tito’s Partisans came to power after the war: summary execution. Perhaps grasping the enormous tragedy of his failed opportunities, Draža Mihailović declared in his final statement before execution:

“I wanted much; I began much; but the gale of the world carried away me and my work.”

[Written by Julian Cope]

This entry was posted in Curiosities. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to 17th July 1946 – the Execution of Draza Mihailovic

  1. Carl Savich says:

    The irony is that Draza Mihailovich is experiencing a revival while the Communist dictator Josip Broz Tito is in the garbage heap of history. A new Serbian TV series entitled Ravna Gora is currently being filmed which will premier next year. Draza Mihailovich will be played by Serbian actor Nebojsa Glogovac. Julian, you seem to have forgotten that Draza Mihailovich rescued over 500 U.S. and Allied airmen in 1944. U.S. President Harry S. Truman awarded him a Legion of Merit in 1948 on the recommendation of Dwight D. Eisenhower because he contributed to the Allied victory. Are you saying Ike and Truman were collaborators and Nazis???

    • Anonymous says:

      “Are you saying Ike and Truman were collaborators and Nazis???”

      from some perspectives, yes they were nearly equivalent.

  2. shep says:

    Well, Truman was the worst of the worst for dropping the bomb. Asshole! Just like ALL elites, including “I like Ike”. Boy was I fooled as a young man to believe in any politician.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.