OSS and SOE Operations in the Balkans


A - I

Anderson, Scott. "'With Friends Like These...': The OSS and the British in Yugoslavia." Intelligence and National Security 8, no. 2 (Apr. 1993): 140-171.

Auty, Phyllis, and Richard Clogg, eds. British Policy Towards Wartime Resistance in Yugoslavia and Greece. London: Macmillan,1975.

Constantinides: This work consists of the proceedings of a 1973 conference in London, with a majority of SOE participants. "Fascinating new material on British intelligence and resistance operations, capabilities, and relationships emerges from the proceedings."

Bailey, Ronald H. Partisans and Guerrillas. Time Life World War II, Vol. 12. Alexandria, VA: Time-Life Books, 1978. Rev. ed. London: Time-Life UK, 1979. "Picture essays accompany a chronicle of the Axis conquest of the Balkans and the struggles of partisan troops and guerrillas to undermine and overthrow Hitler's forces."

Barker, Elizabeth. British Policy in South-East Europe in the Second World War. London: Barnes & Noble, 1976.

Constantinides: "British policy and activities, including much on SOE and resistance operations, are put in perspective and given a balanced account."

Bennett, Ralph.

1. "Knight's Move at Dravar: Ultra and the Attempt on Tito's Life, 15 May 1944." Journal of Contemporary History 22 (Apr. 1987): 195-207.

The author raises and, then, answers in the negative the question of whether Ultra gave the Allies foreknowledge of the Germans' effort to kill Tito. Sexton finds this article "[e]specially valuable for Bennett's insights on the handling of ULTRA and its limitations."

2. Sir William Deakin, Sir David Hunt, and Sir Peter Wilkinson. "Mihailovic and Tito." Intelligence and National Security 10, no. 3 (Jul. 1995): 527-529.

In essence, this statement argues that the switch of support from Mihailovic to Tito was the result of intelligence, including Ultra decrypts, showing that Tito was doing more to fight the Germans.

Blum, Robert M. "Surprised by Tito: The Anatomy of an Intelligence Failure." Diplomatic History 12, no. 1 (1988): 39-57. [Petersen]

Cripps, John. "Mihailovic or Tito? How the Codebreakers Helped Churchill Choose." In Action This Day: Bletchley Park from the Breaking of the Enigma Code to the Birth of the Modern Computer, eds. Ralph Erskine and Michael Smith, 237-263, 492-496. London and New York: Bantam, 2001.

Davidson, Basil. Special Operations Europe: Scenes from the Anti-Nazi War. London: Victor Gollancz, 1980.

Constantinides notes that assignments during the war took Davidson to Hungary, Cairo, Yugoslavia, and Italy, and included service with both D Section and SOE. This is "the best first-hand account of the split in SOE-Cairo over whom to support" in Yugoslavia, because Davidson at one point headed the operations section for Yugoslavia. Davidson supported extending support to Tito.

Deakin, Frederick William [Sir]. The Embattled Mountain. New York: Oxford University Press, 1971. London: Faber and Faber, 2011.

"Sir William Deakin, the historian and founding Warden of St Antony's College, Oxford, who died on Saturday aged 91, led the first British military mission to Tito's headquarters." The codename for the mission was "Operation Typical," and it consisted of "a six-man joint SOE-Military Intelligence" team. In leading this mission, Deakin "thereby playing a salient, if enduringly controversial, role in Churchill's decision to abandon the Royalist Cetniks in favour of the Communist Partisans.", 25 Jan. 2005.

According to Constantinides, the author's story includes "a number of anecdotes or items of intelligence interest."

Deroc, Milan. British Special Operations Explored: Yugoslavia in Turmoil, 1941-1943, and the British Response. Irvington, NY: Columbia University Press, 1988.

From publisher: The author "challenges the accepted interpretations of the role of Tito and Mihailovic in the turbulent history of Yugoslavia in World War II. It critically reviews the wartime policies of Great Britain toward Yugoslavia."

Earle, John. The Price of Patriotism: SOE and MI6 in the Italian-Slovene Borderlands during World War II.. Lewes, UK: Book Guild, 2005.

Stafford, I&NS 20.3 (Sep. 2005), finds this to be "a small gem of a book." It is about "the SOE agents and British liaison officers sent into Slovenia." The postwar fate of the Slovene agents "makes somber reading -- and explains the book's title." The author also "throws instructive light on the internecine fighting that took place along the disputed border [with Italy] between Italian non-communist Osoppo partisans and the pro-communist Garibaldini."

Ford, Kirk, Jr. OSS and the Yugoslav Resistance, 1943-1945. College Station, TX: Texas A&M Press, 1992.

Surveillant 2.6 says that the author uses "recently declassified operational records of the OSS.... Ford corresponded with and interviewed hundreds of ex-OSS officers.... [His] findings challenge the frequent portrayals of Tito as Yugoslavia's 'liberator' and Mihailovich as an Axis collaborator." According to Welles, WIR 13.1, Ford "covers the well-known division and indeed rivalry between the United States and Great Britain that existed on the question of the roles irregular forces of each nation played." This account is "helpful in understanding present-day conflict in Croatia, Serbia, and, of course, Bosnia."

A reviewer for AIJ 14.1 comments that for "intelligence and policy advisers a study of regional Balkan history ... is topical as an input to addressing core issues, and within that context, Professor Ford's book is highly recommended." Anderson, I&NS 9.3, calls this book the "most detailed and extensively researched account to date." It presents a "fair and balanced treatment of the internal conflict."

Hamilton-Hill, Donald. SOE Assignment. London: William Kimber, 1973.

Constantinides: Some of the wartime anecdotes included here "will be of value and interest to those concerned with Balkan affairs during World War II." At the same time, readers may find the author's "grasp of the strategic and diplomatic context of events he relates to be weak."

Huot, Louis. Guns for Tito. New York: Fischer, 1945. "Story of Allied efforts to establish Josef Tito as leader of Yugoslavia. This work is considered an early postwar chronicle on OSS efforts" in the Balkans.

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