The Trieste Crisis 19 - The First Cold War Confrontation in Europe

Published: April 19th, 2020     
Product Image
Front Cover
Author: Bojan Dimitrijevic
Reviewed by: Frank Landrus - IPMS# 35035
ISBN #: 978- 1-912866342
Other Publication Information: Illustrators: David Bocquelet; Tom Cooper; Anderson Subtil; Soft Bound ; 8.3” x 11.8”, 80 pages
Price: $24.95
Product / Stock #: HEL1124
Product provided by: Casemate Publishers

Bojan Dimitrijevic is working as a historian and is Deputy Director of the Institute for Contemporary History, Belgrade, Serbia. Educated at the Universities of Belgrade and Novi Sad, CEU Budapest, and the University of Bradford, he has also worked as the custodian of the Yugoslav Aviation Museum. During the period 2003-2009, Dimitrijevic served as advisor to the Minister of Defense, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the President of Serbia, and as Assistant to the Minister of Defense. He has published over 50 different books and more than 100 scientific articles in Serbia and abroad. His professional interest is in the military history of the former Yugoslavia and Balkans in World War Two, the Cold War as well as wars in the 1990s. This is his second installment for Helion.

Helion is a UK based company that produces books on many aspects of Military History from the Late Medieval period through to the present day. Helion was established in 1996, and since then they have published almost 1,200 books, with 100 or more new titles coming out every year, for readers around the world.

Helion's first book in the Europe @ War series is a square back soft cover and includes 80 gloss paper pages. Another six books in the Europe @ War series are planned for 2020. The cover features a black and white photograph of Yugoslav soldiers with their distinctive German style helmets in the trenches at the edge of Zone B. The color side view by Tom Cooper is of a Republic F-47D Thunderbolt (13054/54) of the 111th Fighter-Bomber Regiment of the JRV. A color side profile by David Bocquelet of a M4A3/76 Sherman tank on the rear cover can also be found on page 32ii. The rear cover also depicts an Italian Air Force Republic F-84G Thunderjet by Tom Cooper (this side profile can also be found on page 32vii). I counted no color pictures and123 black and white photographs. There also 10 aviation color side profiles by Tom Cooper, 8 armor color side profiles by David Bocquelet, 4 color 'uniform' figures by Anderson Subtil, one black and white map, one full color map, and 10 tables.

The port city of Trieste became one of the first battles of the Cold War as the ideologies of western democracy and communism collided. May 1945 saw both the US and British forces racing against the Russian forces to claim Trieste. The Free Territory of Trieste was an independent territory between Italy and Yugoslavia under direct responsibility of the United Nations Security Council in the aftermath of World War II. The Adriatic city's Free Territory was established on February 10, 1947 intending to cool down the territorial claims between Italy and Yugoslavia. It came into existence on 15 September 1947. Its administration was divided into two areas: one being the port city of Trieste with a narrow coastal strip to the North West (Zone A); the other (Zone B) was formed by a small part of the northwestern part of the Istrian peninsula. The Free Territory was dissolved de facto in 1954. Bojan Dimitrijevic focuses on this 1953 confrontation with aviation, armor, and naval perspectives.

The sections include:

  • Abbreviations
  • Introduction and Acknowledgements
  1. The Cold War Starts at Trieste 1945
    • Yugoslav Partisans and Allies Enter Trieste
    • Tito's Attempts - Allied Strong Response
    • Withdrawal of the Yugoslav Forces and Allied Temporary Administration
    • Table 1: British Battalions Deployed in the Trieste and Pula Regions 1945-1947
    • Table 2: British Intelligence and Security Detachments 1945-1946
    • Incidents in 1946: The Shooting Down of Two USAAF Aircraft
  2. Establishing the Free Territory of Trieste 1947
    • New Zonal Division
    • TRUST and BETFOR: Allied Forces in the FTT
    • Table 3: TRUST Commanding Officers 1947-1954
    • Table 4: BETFOR Battalions from mid-1947
    • Italian Forces of the V Military Territorial Command in 1949 [Page 21]
    • Table 5: Military Territorial Command in 1949
    • Communist Yugoslavia Becomes a US and NATO Ally
    • Table 6: Major Items of Military Equipment Received by Fifth Military District between 1 November 1952 and 20 August 1953
    • Re-Equipment of the Yugoslav Forces in "Ljubljana Gap"
    • Towards a New Division of the FTT
  3. Trieste Crisis 1953
    • Giuseppe Pella Government - Complicating of the Relations
    • Incidents on the Mutual Border 1952-1953
    • Fifth Military District of the Yugoslav People's Army: Order of Battle Prior to the Trieste Crisis
    • Pella's Plan to Seize Zone A: Esigenza T
    • Table 7: Naval Group Adriatic (Gruppo Navale Adriatico)
    • Table 8: Italian Air Force Assigned Units for Operation "Esigenza T"
    • Tito's Speeches Add More Fuel to the Emerging Conflict
    • Table 9: Eskadra of the Yugoslav Navy Warships Deployed at the Beginning of the Crisis [Page 31]
    • Yugoslav Army and Navy Activities
    • Color Profiles [Page 32 vi]
  4. Eighth of October 1953
    • Yugoslav Forces on the Move Towards Zone B and the Border
    • Yugoslav Air Force on Alert [Page 45]
    • Table 10: III Air Corps Yugoslav Air Force Operational Strength During the Trieste Crisis
    • L'eigenza T (Trieste) - Movement and Activities of the Italian Army
    • Challenge for Yugoslav Intelligence: Monitoring the Italian Movements
    • Italian Estimations of the Yugoslav Army
    • At the Edge of Confrontation
    • Aerial Reconnaissance Missions
    • Allied Forces in the FTT and the Trieste Crisis
    • Tito's Comments on the Crisis
  5. Towards the Compromise
    • The End of the Crisis
    • Division of the Free Territory of Trieste [Page 58]
    • Italian Ground Forces in North-Eastern Italy 1954
    • Experiences of the Both Armies Gained During the Crisis
  • Conclusion
  • Bibliography
  • Notes
  • Acknowledgements

I found many of the topics very interesting, but one incident on June 30th, 1952, was notable. On this date, some 65 Italian soldiers crossed the border, climbing the summit of Mangrit. This 2,679 meters mountain was on the northern part of the Italian-Yugoslav border. The Italians took the opportunity to really singe the Yugoslav soldiers by writing in the guest book. Of course, some of the signees included some provocative slogans sure to tick off the Yugoslav warriors. Although many of these incursions in 1952 and 1953 could have been quite serious, many were not. The Italians would continue to persuade the Yugoslav soldiers to defect with offerings of cigars, prostitutes, and other goods not available to the Yugoslavs.

The contemporary photographs support the text, and the quality compared to WWI pictures is certainly improved. These photos certainly give you a good perspective of the events described. I am looking forward to future volumes in Helion's Europe @ War series. If you own one the previous releases in Helion's "@ War" series, you know what you are getting. If this is your initial entry into this series, you will be quite pleased.

My thanks to Helion & Company, Casemate Publishing, and IPMS/USA for the chance to review this great book.

Highly recommended!

  • Rear cover
    Rear cover
  • Page 21
    Page 21
  • Page 31
    Page 31
  • Page 32
    Page 32
  • Page 45
    Page 45
  • Page 58
    Page 58

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