In This Review

The Web Of Disinformation: Churchill's Yugoslav Blunder
The Web Of Disinformation: Churchill's Yugoslav Blunder
By David Martin
Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1990, 425 pp

The Tito-Mihailovic struggle and Allied policies in Yugoslavia in World War II remain a subject of continuing fascination. David Martin, author of two previous books in defense of Mihailovic, has put years of research into this book, among the main contentions of which are that the office of Britain's Special Operations Executive in Cairo resorted to deliberate distortion and sabotage in order to convince London to abandon Mihailovic and embrace Tito; that one James Klugmann, a convinced communist and probable Soviet agent, played the key role in this deception; and that Churchill committed a colossal blunder in supporting Tito, paving the way for the communist takeover of Yugoslavia at the end of the war. Martin marshals a good deal of evidence, much of it previously unpublished, although the crucial SOE records remain sealed. In drawing their own conclusions readers would do well to keep in mind that Martin is an advocate, not a neutral investigator, and that the facts he has been seeking are those that support his case. Churchill's decision to support Tito, incidentally, was made on military grounds. It is impossible to prove that supporting Mihailovic instead would have had more favorable military results, or that British support of Tito was the crucial factor in his ultimate political victory.