chapter  8
12 Pages

Slovenia

Owen Reed’s assignment to Slovenia was conducted against a background of steadily worsening relations with the Partisans which arose from three fundamental problems. The first was Britain’s continuing support for the Yugoslav monarchy and for the government-in-exile, while the second was the steadfast refusal of the Western Allies to accept Yugoslav sovereignty over Trieste. The third was a new development – the landing of British forces in Greece in October 1944 following Germany’s withdrawal from the Balkans, and their subsequent intervention against the communist movement there.1 British involvement in Greece was inevitably viewed with alarm and suspicion by Tito and his followers, and encouraged the belief that some similar action might be contemplated in support of British political objectives in Yugoslavia. The stakes were shortly afterwards raised further when Belgrade was liberated and Tito established his new regime there. As the threat from Germany declined and attention turned to Yugoslavia’s post-war order, these various differences between the Western Allies and the Partisans assumed a greater prominence in their relationship, completely overshadowing the common objectives that had united them in earlier years. The Second World War was nearly over; the Cold War was about to begin.