Take the 2-minute tour ×
History Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for historians and history buffs. It's 100% free, no registration required.

In 1940,-41 Germany was able to enlist the support of Roumania, Hungary (the latter at the expense of the former), and Bulgaria, in the Balkans. Yugoslavia initially signed on with Germany, then soon switched sides and declared herself for the Allies.

Why did Yugoslavia do this? I have a recollection of a difference of opinion between the minor (seventeen year old) king, and his uncle, the regent. Was this the real cause, or were one or both men pawns in a larger struggle?

share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Was there a united Yugoslavia? There was a Yugoslavia, but it was split to Croatia (with Bosnia and Herzegovina), Serbia and Slovenia (which was again split for Germany/Austria Italy and Hungary).

I don't think you can say Yugoslavia switched the side, there were different parties. During the war, the Ustaše (More or less Croatia) stayed with Nazi-Germany.

Those who fought against Germany were the winners in the end - and the winners write the history.

I think the early switch is a myth of the later Yugoslavia.

share|improve this answer
Good point, +1. Apparently it was a lot more complicated than the power struggle between the underaged king and his uncle. I would like to hear from others. –  Tom Au Mar 17 '13 at 19:07
I'm afraid we lack European users from various countries and with knowledge of several languages. What I believe to be the difference is that in USA people learn in schools primarily about the history of all USA and secondarily about own state, while in Europe, primarily about own country, then secondarily about Europe in overall. –  Darek Wędrychowski Mar 17 '13 at 19:58
@DarekWędrychowski: I am an AMERICAN user of the site who has visited Russia, Poland, Austria, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, France and the UK, and speaks several languages represented on SE sites. –  Tom Au Mar 17 '13 at 20:48
nothing like a little German perspctive on WW2, right Knut? –  Bak1139 May 20 '14 at 7:09
Isn't this true of all historical phenomena? There is always a majority party and one or more minority parties. The minority parties are always jockeying to diminish the margin of the majority. Is Yugoslavia any different from the American revolution or the coalition to pass health care, right down to the election of the local dogcatcher. –  Mark C. Wallace May 23 '14 at 16:57

As Hitler wanted to conquer Soviet Union,he wanted to establish full control of southeast Europe. So he forced Yugoslavia to join Tripartite Pact. That happened on 25th of March 1941. People in Yugoslavia were unhappy because of that desicion. Also that did not suit to Great Britain because they lost another ally on east. All of that were reasons why Chief of the General Staff,Dušan Simović,supported by Great Britain performed Yugoslav coup d'état in 27th of March 1941. Hitler was very angry, altough Dušan Simović said that Yugoslavia won't resign Tripartite Pact. Hitler taught that that is just buying time and atatcked Yugoslavia on 6th of April 1941. After 4 days on 10th of April 1941. there was declared Independent State of Croatia under Nazi and Fascist control and on 17th of April Yugoslavia capitulated.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.