11.01.

Chetnik Leader Draža Mihailović Appointed Yugoslav Minister of the Army – 1942

Chetnik Leader Draža Mihailović Appointed Yugoslav Minister of the Army – 1942

His Chetniks received the status of the “Yugoslav Army in the Homeland”. The full name of Mihailović’s office was “Minister of the Army, Navy, and Air Forces”.

On this day in 1942 a new government in exile was declared in London, where Chetnik leader Draža Mihailović became a minister. He had previously played a role during the Axis invasion of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in April 1941 – while the Royal Yugoslav Army fell apart soon after the invasion, Colonel Draža Mihailović organized the Chetnik movement, which was first formed in the vicinity of Ravna Gora in Serbia. After the king and his government fled the country and the Royal Army capitulated, Mihailović’s Chetniks remained active in Serbia as a sort of guerrilla force.

In summer 1941, the Yugoslav government in exile recognized Draža Mihailović’s Chetniks as its legal military arm. Mihailović was then promoted to the rank of general. He received an even greater recognition on this day in 1942, when he became part of said government as “Minister of the Army, Navy, and Air Forces”. His Chetniks received the status of the “Yugoslav Army in the Homeland”.

Although there were initially attempts to create a united front between the Chetniks and Tito’s communist-led partisans, they soon fell out and became openly hostile towards each other. Mihailović was captured after the end of the war and executed by firing squad near Belgrade. He was buried in an unmarked grave, the location of which remains unknown to this day.

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