Desertion of Albanians From the Yugoslav Armed Forces After the Liberation of Kosovo and Metohija (1944 and 1945) Cover Image

Дезертирања Албанаца из Југословенске армије након ослобођења Косова и Метохије (1944. и 1945)
Desertion of Albanians From the Yugoslav Armed Forces After the Liberation of Kosovo and Metohija (1944 and 1945)

Author(s): Božica Slavković
Subject(s): Military history, Political history, Nationalism Studies, WW II and following years (1940 - 1949), Geopolitics, Peace and Conflict Studies
Published by: Institut za strategijska istraživanja
Keywords: Kosovo and Metohija; ballists; deserters; NOVJ; JA; rebellion; Yugoslavia; Albanian nationalist organisation;

Summary/Abstract: After the liberation of Kosovo and Metohija from the invaders, the Yugoslav authorities had serious problems with a new front opened there, and these were rebel groups of ballists – supporters and members of Albanian nationalist organization Bali Kombtar. A large number of deserters from the Yugoslav brigades also joined these groups. Deserting was massive, organized and almost every day. The most common were cases of group desertion, as was the case with the Shiptar Youth Battalion. Betrayal was a form of desertion during battles when Albanian troops joined the other side. Desertion was a form of resistance to the People’s Liberation Army and Yugoslav authorities. The causes most often cited are bad relationship of leaders and soldiers towards the Albanian soldiers and their isolation. However, the Albanians were subjected to strong nationalist propaganda, turning them from joining the People’s Liberation Army of Yugoslavia and the Yugoslav brigades. They escaped due to hostile motives, for fear of liability for theft, murder, beatings, membership to Albanian nationalist organization - Bali Kombtar, the Albanian police in time of war, for political reasons, dissatisfaction, because of the struggle in their own area, for committed crimes. They mostly fled from the brigades to Turkey, Italy and Albania. The exact number of deserters is not known. Based on the research the approximate number would be 2,000 Albanian deserters from the Yugoslav brigades in the first years after the liberation of Kosovo and Metohija.

  • Issue Year: 2011
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 92-113
  • Page Count: 22
  • Language: Serbian