BULGARIA JOINS THE GERMANS
VIDEO: HITLER MEETS TSAR BORIS
GERMANS BREAK-UP AND ANNEX YUGOSLAVIA
Invasion of Yugoslavia
Following agreements with Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria that they would join the Axis, Hitler put pressure on Yugoslavia to join the Tripartite Pact. The Regent, Prince Paul of Yugoslavia, succumbed to this pressure on 25 March 1941. However, this move was deeply unpopular amongst the anti-Axis Serbian public and military. A coup d'état was launched on 27 March 1941 by anti-Paul Serbian military officers, and the Regent was replaced on the throne by King Peter II of Yugoslavia.
Upon hearing news of the coup in Yugoslavia, Hitler called his military advisers to Berlin on 27 March. Hitler took the coup as a personal insult, and was so angered that he was determined "without waiting for possible declarations of loyalty of the new government to destroy Yugoslavia militarily and as a nation.", despite the apparent readiness of the new Yugoslav rulers to maintain Yugoslavia's involvement in the Tripartite Pact.
Two days later, Prince Paul was forcibly removed from power.
From this distance, the Prince Paul's foreign policy including the signing of the Tripartite Pact seems to have been best possible in the adverse circumstances. After the fall of France, after the rout of the British, Paul saw no way of saving the country, but to adopt policies of accommodation to the Axis powers. But even under those circumstances Prince Paul, outwardly neutral, remained determinedly pro-Allied. He aided Greece when Greece was invaded. He fostered military collaboration between Yugoslav Army and the French. And for almost three years he parried the Axis thrust toward Yugoslavia.
For the remainder of the war, Prince Paul was kept, with his family, under house arrest by the British in Kenya.
VIDEO: GERMANS EXECUTIONS IN YUGOSLAVIA
CLICK TO BUY BOOK
Right, let’s look at the good stuff and there’s plenty of it. This 52 page book is primarily a photographic resource that documents German army personnel and equipment used in the particularly brief Yugoslavian campaign. Broken into sections devoted to infantry, artillery, air defence, armour and reconnaissance, pioneers, signals, transport and camp life the fascinating photographs are accompanied by insightful captions.
The author, Gordon Rottman, obviously knows his stuff and points out details that could be easily missed by the reader. He is particularly informative when discussing uniforms and equipment (although I’m not sure if it's absolutely necessary to point out the soles of hob-nail boots). As mentioned the photographs are uniformly excellent and often display the spectacular and atmospheric Yugoslavian mountains and forests to great effect which should provide some real inspiration for diorama makers. Also within the book are four colour paintings by Dmitry Zgonnik of a Panzer Crewman, Rifleman, Gebirgsjager and Waffen-SS Squad leader. These terrific paintings are a real bonus feature of this book and should provide an excellent reference for figure modellers.