The British Embassy to the Department of State
The situation with regard to Yugoslavia has recently changed as a result of the following developments:—
- The greater part of the Montenegrin Chetniks have been defeated and disarmed as the result of the recent German offensive and General Mihailović has, in consequence, withdrawn eastwards into [apparent omission], where he is reorganizing his forces.
- The British authorities concerned have succeeded in establishing contact with the Partisans at their general headquarters in Bosnia and also in Croatia and Slovenia.
It is clear (a) that the Partisans are now the most formidable anti-Axis element in Yugoslavia outside Serbia, and (b) that in spite of the defeat of the Montenegrin Chetniks, the organization of General Mihailović is still the chief resistance organization in Serbia, where there are no appreciable number of Partisans.
His Majesty’s Government have now decided to extend their support for the future to all elements of resistance in Yugoslavia, irrespective of political colour. Their policy is therefore:—
- To continue to support General Mihailović provided that he accepts their conditions.
- To supply forthwith with war material the Croatian guerillas and communist Partisans. Those Partisans operating in close proximity to the forces of General Mihailović will, however, first be required to give an assurance to the British liaison officers that no operations will be carried out against General Mihailović except in self-defence.
- To continue efforts to unify all resistance movements throughout Yugoslavia. For this purpose British liaison officers are being instructed to arrange if possible a non-aggression agreement between General Mihailović and the Partisans.
- To bring British radio propaganda into line with this new policy and to extend publicity to all groups fighting the Axis as soon as General Mihailović and the Partisans have given the assurances for which they have been asked.