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Tito was on a ship traveling the Danube and one of his higher ranking officers (who had pronunciation issues) said to him:

"Look at these hills, in this area grape is fantastic!".

Upon hearing this, Tito said:

"Great, make ironworks here." (for those confused, note that in Serbian grape = grozdje and iron = gvozdje)

Now, because it was sort of authoritarian regime, nobody could even question his weird decision and they indeed made ironworks in that location. Funnily enough, that ironworks plant still exists in operation to this day, it's just interesting how mispronouncing one single letter can lead into such a significant historical change.

My question is whether or not this interesting anecdote actually has any historical evidence? From what I could find, the ironworks there was restored in 1946 and later in 1960 which matches with period of reign of the communist party.

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Danilo Jonić is a new contributor to this site. Take care in asking for clarification, commenting, and answering. Check out our Code of Conduct.
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  • 3
    I'm not actually seeing a question. Did you want to know if this anecdote is true?
    – Steve Bird
    Commented Jun 7 at 12:18
  • 2
    Welcome to History Stack Exchange! This is a question and answer site. Please edit your post into the form of a question if you have one, and submit it for reopening.
    – SPavel
    Commented Jun 7 at 12:24
  • Might be worth pointing out that in Germany, ironworks tend to be located close to coal mines, and not necessarily close to to iron mines.
    – Jan
    Commented Jun 7 at 13:04
  • I like interesting historical anecdotes as much as the next person, but the place for social content like that is our chatroom The Time Machine. This would have been a great thing to put there! Questions however are for, well, questions. You might want to go look over our Help Center to better learn how the site works.
    – T.E.D.
    Commented Jun 7 at 13:52
  • 2
    It would also help to identify the specific ironworks in question
    – SPavel
    Commented Jun 7 at 20:40

1 Answer 1

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Most likely not true. The Smederevo steel plant — assuming this is the one you mean — was founded in 1913 so Tito at most could only have decided on its later expansion and rebuild. Difficult to imagine this pronunciation mix-up being a factor in a rebuild of an existing site.

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Peter Ellis is a new contributor to this site. Take care in asking for clarification, commenting, and answering. Check out our Code of Conduct.

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