740.00119 Control (Austria)/5–1645: Telegram

The Ambassador in Yugoslavia (Patterson) to the Secretary of State

88. With reference to my note concerning Yugoslav forces in Austria,85 Marshal Tito has sent me following reply dated May 16:

“I have the honor of asking you to transmit to the Government of United States of America the following answer to the communication of 15th May, 1945: The Government of Federative Democratic Yugoslavia regrets much that up to this date its note of 2 April, 194586 asking the Allies to allot Yugoslavia a zone in Austria for occupation by units of Yugoslav Army has not been answered but by the Soviet Union.

After the agreement 1st November, 1943 at Moscow the situation has been greatly changed. Yugoslavia till now participated with a big army in the great Allied efforts which won victory. Yugoslavia of all European countries has most suffered of the German occupation in which a great deal of German units from Austria took part. Therefore, it would be unjust to deny Yugoslav Army the right to pursue [Page 1323] the enemy over the pre-war frontiers and to occupy the territory liberated from the enemy. Units who have crossed the Yugoslav-Austrian frontier have done so by fighting the enemy who has not submitted himself to the conditions of the capitulation.

With regard that the Government of the Soviet Union agreed that a territory in Austria taken by the Soviet Army would be occupied by Yugoslav Army, Yugoslav Government is of the opinion that the Government of United States of America will assist and enable the Yugoslav units to remain on that Austrian territory which have already been taken with the provision that these Yugoslav forces will be under the Supreme Command of Field Marshal Harold G. Alexander, as the case is with the other forces which will be under the command of the third Ukraine front of Marshal Tolbukhin.

Yugoslav Government deeply believes that such its proposals are justified being done by an Allied country which proportionally has contributed most victims among all European countries to the common Allied cause.

These our demands do not prejudicate the solutions of the peace conference but they only represent the right acquired by effort of our country in war.”

  1. See telegram 88, May 14, to Belgrade, p. 1319.
  2. See telegram 2825, April 11, to London, p. 1314.