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American Ranger Mission to Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1944, and armed conflict against Soviets from the air

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A piece on forbidden history of WWII. The Ranger Mission was essentially a cowboy adventure made by few American officers who wanted to change the course of history.


The link to full article from Serbian journalist and history researcher Miloslav Samardžić, author of 35 books, 5 films, and one series about the WWII, thanks to my American brothers from the Conservative Hardliner who published it on their website. The translation into English was mine.


The American Ranger Mission to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1944 (conservativehardliner.com)


Here is the excerpt regarding the American armed conflict against the Red Army over Serbia, including an air battle. It was Americans and Serbian Chetniks on one side, and Soviet Red Army and Yugoslav communist partisans on the other.


Armed conflicts between Americans and Soviets


Sparks between the American and Soviet armies erupted so much that two armed conflicts were recorded on the territory of Serbia.


The first took place on October 13th 1944, about thirty kilometers east of the city of Kruševac. Three days earlier, the Chetniks of the Deligrad Corps liberated the town of Ražanj from the Germans and set out to meet the Soviets. Negotiations with the Soviets did not go in the desired direction, so they left Ražanj. However, they obeyed the recommendation of the Council to continue persecuting the Germans towards Varvarin and Paraćin. Red Army soldiers and partisans entered the abandoned Ražanj on October 13th. Suddenly, Allied planes start bombing this place. The commander of the Soviet unit, who was just giving a speech to the assembled people, General Lesnikov, immediately got in the car and headed north, but the Allied air force continued to bomb and machine gun. General Lesnikov's car was hit and he remained dead on the spot.


There were many more victims on November 7th 1944, on the same road, just a little further south, near the city of Niš. That morning, the Soviets and the local communists organized a celebration of the anniversary of the October Revolution, and then a long column of the 6th Guards Rifle Corps of the Red Army marched towards Belgrade. At around 10 o'clock, the column was attacked by three groups of 12 American P-38 Lightning type fighters. The corps commander, General Kotov, was killed along with 31 soldiers, while 37 Red Army soldiers were wounded. A large number of vehicles were destroyed.


Not only did the attack not stop, but another group of American fighters came along. Then, the commander of the Soviet 17th Air Force, General Sudec, ordered the pilots of the planes on duty at the Niš airport to take off and respond to the attack. A group of nine Yak-3 fighters from the 288th Air Division immediately took off. American fighters were now targeting the Soviet and an air battle ensued. According to the American author Glenn Baus, the Americans shot down four Yaks, and the Soviets shot down two Lightnings. According to the Soviet report, three Yaks and four Lightnings were shot down, and according to a report by the Yugoslav Communists, three Yaks and seven Lightnings.


Some authors claim that it was a mistake, and some that it was an intention, since Soviet vehicles and planes were marked with large five-pointed stars. In another case, American pilots allegedly thought they were bombing a German column in the Ibar River valley. This river is located about a hundred kilometers west of South Morava and the city of Niš. Its gorge is narrow and surrounded by large mountains, while the valley of the South Morava is wide, and there are low mountains around it.


Thus, also counting the Yugoslav army, ie. Chetniks, during the Second World War, four armed conflicts took place between the Western Allies and the Red Army, all four on the territory of Serbia.


First, on October 13th 1944, Soviet General Lesnikov was killed in an attack by Allied aircraft.


Then, on October 14th, there was a fight between the 2nd Rasina Brigade and Red Army units near Kruševac. The Soviet general told Lieutenant Kramer that the fight took place near Varvarin, that is, near the neighboring town, where the Soviet headquarters was located.


Thirdly, in those days there was a fight between the 1st Banat Corps and Red Army units in Banat. The Soviet general told Kramer that this fight took place "in the area of Belgrade". For both this and the previous case, the general said that the Chetniks attacked the Soviets. The previous case is described in detail, and when it comes to the conflict in Banat, a similar scenario took place there. The Chetniks welcomed the Red Army and everything was fine until the Red Army started raping women. The Chetniks then drew their weapons, after which they were defeated and handed over to the Communists, who liquidated them in Deliblato Sands.


The fourth is the conflict that took place on November 7 near Niš.


In the analysis of this kind, it is necessary to include the case of one of the most famous American commanders, General Patton. It has long been believed in the official version that he died in a car accident in 1945, but lately it has been heard more and more often that Patton was actually killed by secret agents, because he wanted to oppose the Red Army's invasion to the west.

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Posted (edited)

I found a You Tube video on this incident.



It is hardly to believe that the American aircraft attacked the Soviet Red Army accidentaly exactly on the day of the October Bolshevik Revolution anniversary celebration. But what the political and military situation over Kingdom of Yugoslavia was at the time should provide some more context to it.


Churchill agreed with Stalin that Britain should get Greece and Soviet Union should get Yugoslavia. So Churchill abandoned his support to Yugoslav Army in Fatherland - the Chetniks of General Draža Mihailović, and switched his support to Tito's Yugoslav Communist Partisans instead. But the head of the OSS, American General William Donovan, held the opinion that Yugoslavia should not become Bolshevik. He decided to send the Ranger Mission to the Chetniks, led by Colonel Robert McDowell, which had the task to propose the Germans in Yugoslavia to surrender to the Americans and the Chetniks, and therefore to prevent the Red Army from entering Yugoslavia. It is questionable whether this mission was ever approved by President Roosevelt, most likely not, or he was undecisive. The Germans in Yugoslavia agreed to surrender to the Americans and the Chetniks rather than to surrender to the Bolshevik Red Army and Yugoslav Communist Partisans. Tha plan was that the Americans should send a small unit of paratroopers who were going to receive German capitulation in Yugoslavia, and then the Germans would hand over their weapons to the Chetniks, which would make Yugoslavia an American military base and therefore prevent the Soviet Red Army from entering. But Stalin also made a move, he paused his advance towards Berlin and redirected Red Army troops towards Balkans to capture Bulgaria and Yugoslavia. That move allowed Hitler to begin the Ardennes Offensive on the Western Front. In the end, President Roosevelt ordered that all American officers leave the Chetniks immediately and return to Italy, and Colonel McDowell almost faced the military court for disobeying the orders. Later, he wrote the book: "The Key Role in Southeastern Europe during World War Two of the Serbs and Their Commander General Draza Mihailovich despite Their Abandonment by Churchill and Roosevelt", which was forbidden from publishing in the US.

Edited by Silent Film
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