Soviet Policy on the Balkans in 1944: A British View

  • Malcolm Mackintosh


The aim of this chapter is to try to present the evidence which we have from reliable historical sources on the policies of the Soviet Union towards the Balkan countries in 1944. I would like to pay particular attention to Bulgaria, whose position in the conflict at that time is relatively unknown but, I believe, extremely interesting. But I also want to look at my subject from a British point of view and to try to show how we saw the situation evolving in the Balkans at that time. At the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939 the political orientation of the Balkan states, as we in Britain saw it, was divided broadly speaking, into two groups: one, Yugoslavia, Greece and to some extent Romania, looked towards France as the main European power; and the other, including Bulgaria and Hungary, had special links with Germany. Albania, which had been occupied by Mussolini’s Italy in April 1939, was isolated from the main stream of European policies. Much of this alignment was based on traditional regional relationships and attitudes, and also on the loyalties stemming from the First Word War, as well as cultural and economic links with the two great European powers of that time.


Balkan Country Resistance Movement Soviet Policy Soviet Troop Regular Army 
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  1. 5.
    Mihailo Apostolski The People’s Liberation War in Macedonia in 1943 and the Arrival of the British Military Missions p. 3, quoting Zbornik Vol. 7, part 2, 1948.Google Scholar
  2. 8.
    Marshal G.K. Zhukov, Reminiscences and Recollections (Moscow, 1969) p. 596 (Russian edition).Google Scholar
  3. 11.
    Marshal G.K. Zhukov, Reminiscences and Recollections (Moscow, 1969) p. 596 (Russian edition).Google Scholar
  4. 13.
    W.S. Churchill, The Second World War, Vol. VI, Triumph and Tragedy (London, 1954) p. 198.Google Scholar

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© British National Committee for the History of the Second World War 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Malcolm Mackintosh

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