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Yugoslav Anti-Axis Resistance, 1939-1941: The Case of Vane Ivanovic

By Dejan Djokic


This article attempts to shed some light on the history of anti-Axis activity among Yugoslavs in the first nineteen months of World War Two, when Yugoslavia was still neutral, through the little-known role played by Vane Ivanović, shipping magnate and leading Yugoslav sportsman. Together with Božo Banac, his stepfather, Ivanović had already put almost half of their mercantile fleet at the disposal of the British by 4 September 1939. When Yugoslavia briefly joined the Axis on 25 March 1941, Ivanović placed the rest of the fleet under the British command, defying his government. Following the pro-Allied coup d'état in Belgrade on 27 March 1941, Ivanović played an instrumental role in organizing Yugoslav shipowners whose fleets remained in neutral waters into a Yugoslav Shipping Committee. The case of Vane Ivanović suggests that history of the resistance among Yugoslavs cannot be reduced to that of Tito or Mihailović, nor can it be limited to the years of occupation (1941-45)

Topics: V146
Publisher: Maney Publishing
Year: 2001
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