Draza Mihajlovic

[Uncle Draža]

Biography of Draza Mihajlovic

Dragoljub "Draža" Mihailović (also known as "Uncle Draža"; 27 April 1893 – 17 July 1946) was a Yugoslav Serb general during World War II. A staunch royalist, he retreated to the mountains near Belgrade when the Germans overran Yugoslavia in April 1941 and there he organized bands of guerrillas known as the Chetnik Detachments of the Yugoslav Army. The organisation is commonly known as the Chetniks, although the name of the organisation was later changed to the Yugoslav Army in the Homeland.

Founded as a royalist/nationalist Serb resistance movement, it was the first Yugoslav resistance movement to be formed, followed shortly by Josip Broz Tito's Partisans. Initially, the two groups operated in parallel, but by late 1941 began fighting each other in the attempt to gain control of the area following the end of the war. Many Chetnik groups collaborated or established modus vivendi with Axis powers. After the war, Mihailović was tried and convicted of high treason and war crimes by the authorities of the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia, and executed by firing squad. The nature and extent of his responsibility for collaboration and ethnic massacres remain controversial.

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