Original WWII Yugoslavian Royal Air Force 1937 Model Dagger
Original Item: Only One Available. (Vazduhoplovni bodež Kraljevine Jugoslavije); An early example with nickel plated bronze fittings; stylized winged propeller, with excellent plating, no scratches or major imperfection; pommel in fine condition; grip constructed of black synthetic material, wrapped with twisted wire, no cracks or chipping; blade is straight and shiny, sharp, with Royal Yugoslav Coat-of-Arms engraved on one side, while the other has Cyrillic inscription "Officer's Association"; blade in excellent condition. With matching scabbard, constructed of dark blue leather, and secured in three sections with nickel plated fittings; only minor contacts marks, in fine condition. Overall, an early dagger in fine condition, an excellent example of a very rare laser known World War Two dagger.
Yugoslavia in WW2: Military operations in World War II in Yugoslavia began on 6 April 1941, when the Kingdom of Yugoslavia was swiftly conquered by Axis forces and partitioned between Germany, Italy, Hungary, Bulgaria and client regimes. Subsequently, a guerrilla liberation war was fought against the Axis occupying forces and their locally established puppet regimes, including the fascist Independent State of Croatia and the Government of National Salvation in the German-occupied territory of Serbia, by the Communist-led republican Yugoslav Partisans. Simultaneously, a multi-side civil war was waged between the Partisans, the Serbian chauvinist Chetniks, the Croatian Ustashe and Home Guard, Serbian Volunteer Corps and State Guard, as well as Slovene Home Guard troops.
Both the Yugoslav Partisans and the Chetnik movement initially resisted the occupation. However, after 1941, Chetniks extensively and systematically collaborated with the Italian occupation forces until the Italian capitulation, and thereon also with German and Ustashe forces. The Axis mounted a series of offensives intended to destroy the Partisans, coming close to doing so in the Battle of Neretva and Battle of Sutjeska in the spring and summer of 1943.
Despite the setbacks, the Partisans remained a credible fighting force, with their organization gaining recognition from the Western Allies at the Tehran Conference and laying the foundations for the post-war Yugoslav state. With support in logistics and air power from the Western Allies, and Soviet ground troops in the Belgrade Offensive, the Partisans eventually gained control of the entire country and of the border regions of Trieste and Carinthia.
The human cost of the war was enormous. The number of war victims is still in dispute, but is generally agreed to have been at least one million. Non-combat victims included the majority of the country's Jewish population, many of whom perished in concentration and extermination camps (e.g. Jasenovac, Banjica) run by the client regimes.
The Ustashe regime (mostly Croats, but also Muslims and others) committed genocide against Serbs, Jews, Roma and anti-Fascist Croats. The Chetniks (mostly Serbs, but also Montenegrins and others) pursued genocide against Muslims, Croats and Pro-Partisan Serbs, and the Italian occupation authorities pursued violence and ethnic cleansing (Italianization) against Slovenes and Croats. The Wehrmacht carried out mass executions of civilians in retaliation for resistance activity e.g., the Kragujevac massacre. SS Division "Prinz Eugen" massacred large number of civilians and prisoners of war. Hungarian occupation troops massacred civilians (mostly Serbs and Jews) during the a major raid in southern Bačka, under the pretext of suppressing resistance activities.
Finally, during and after the final stages of the war, Yugoslav authorities and Partisan troops carried out reprisals, including the deportation of the Danube Swabian population, forced marches and executions of thousands of captured soldiers and civilians (predominantly Croats associated with the NDH, but also Slovenes and others) fleeing their advance (the Bleiburg repatriations), atrocities against the Italian population in Istria (the Foibe massacres) and purges against Serbs, Hungarians and Germans associated with the fascist forces.
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