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Thursday, December 7th 2017, 3:16pm

Belgrade, The White Palace, Friday, 25 June 1948

King Aleksandr had called the morning’s meeting with his military chiefs to discuss the implications of the recent German decision to permit the sale of additional armaments to Yugoslavia. Of the long list of requests submitted to the German foreign office only two, for the supply of Arado bomber aircraft and Junkers jet engines, had been approved, and insofar as the bombers were concerned, in far smaller numbers that what was sought.

Major-General Lav Rupnik spoke to the issue. “Sire, the Germans have at least reversed themselves to a degree; our last request was completely rejected. It may be half-a-loaf, but it is better than none.”

The King paused before answering. To Rupnik and the others present Aleksandr appeared tired; the king was not yet sixty years of age but he appeared far older – the legacy of an illness of forty years ago matched with the arduous years of the Great War. “Do you think it possible that the Germans will eventually accede to our full request?”

“Sire, that depends in large part on Germany’s future relations with Italy, a question which falls to Furlan rather than to me.”

Closing his eyes the King considered the way forward. The long political struggle to liberate the Occupied Territories had worn him out, and a small but growing number of his advisors were urging him to consider military options. These, however, had never endured the hardship of war, and the patience that such hardships can engender. At the moment, Aleksandr’s greatest concern was for the future of the House of Karađorđević – according to his physicians he was already living on borrowed time.

“As you say, half-a-loaf… For the moment, let us be content.”


Monday, December 18th 2017, 12:46am

Yugoslav News and Events, July 1948

Novosti News Service, Bar, Thursday, 1 July 1948

The Adriatic Shipyards resounded to the sound of pneumatic hammers on steel as keels were laid for the latest ships to be built for the Royal Yugoslav Navy. The slipways saw keels for two additional ammunition auxiliaries – Auxiliary C and Auxiliary D laid down and work on two more amphibious vessels – Landing Ship E and Landing Ship F – was begun. Prince Tomislav represented the Crown at the ceremonies marking the commencement of construction, leading some to speculate on the cause for the absence of the Crown Prince.


Monday, December 18th 2017, 12:48am

Delivery Status Report, 30 September 1948

Domestic Ground Ordnance Production

M43 Service Rifle -:- 39,000
M47 GP Machinegun -:- 1,800
M39 Aircraft Machinegun -:- 150
M37 Tank Machinegun -:- 90
M47 Recoilless Gun -:- 500
M32 Hand Grenade -:- 420,000
Small Arms Ammunition -:- 33,000,000
Artillery Ammunition -:- 450,000

Domestic Vehicle Production for Royal Yugoslav Army

Zastava M40 0.25-ton Truck -:- 150
Zastava M41 1.5-ton Truck -:- 750
Novi Sad M44 3-ton Truck -:- 1,010
Novi Sad M46 Artillery Tractor -:- 450
AT.47 Tank Destroyer -:- 36
Orkan Armoured Reconnaissance Vehicle -:- 36
M47 Half Track Infantry Carrier -:- 75

Aircraft Deliveries

Soko Orao -:- 30
Type 222 Vihor -:- 15
Type 224 Galeb -:- 18
Utva Lasta -:- 12


Thursday, December 28th 2017, 1:49am

Novosti News Service, Belgrade, Tuesday, 6 July 1948

The nation lies devastated and in sorrow following the announcement this morning of the death of His Majesty King Aleksandr following a brief illness. Addressing the nation Crown Prince Petar spoke movingly of his late father’s leadership of the nation through the time of the Great War and the contributions he made to the development of the kingdom in the present era. Details of the expected state funeral are anticipated.

OOC: If any special representatives are being sent to attend the funeral, please advise at the earliest convenience.


Thursday, December 28th 2017, 2:15am

The French government expresses their deep condolences to the Yugoslavian people and the family of King Aleksandr. (Both French President Quinten Clemenceau and Prime Minister Edmond Michelet will make plans to attend funeral.)

The government of the Russian Federation similarly expresses their condolences. (Both President Mikhail Fyodorov and Chairman of the Government Mikhail Sergetov will attend the funeral.)

Bulgaria dittos all of the above and will be represented by Tsar Boris III.

Chile and Ireland send messages of condolence and will be represented by their respective ambassadors.


Thursday, December 28th 2017, 10:14am

The governments of Atlantis, Colombia, Turkey and the Republic of Byzantium all send their heartfelt condolences.


Thursday, December 28th 2017, 10:26am

The governments of Great Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands and Argentina express their condolences to the people of Yugoslavia and the Royal Family.

British Prime Minister Clement Attlee will attend the funeral, as will the Belgian Prime Minister Paul-Henri Spaak and the Dutch Prime Minister Eduard Land.
Argentina's Ambassador will represent his nation.


Tuesday, January 2nd 2018, 11:32am

The government and the imperial family of the Chinese Empire express their deep condolences to the people of Yugoslavia and the Royal Family. Unfortunately, due to the great distance, only the chinese ambassador Tran Phu Ko will attend the funeral and represent his nation.


Wednesday, January 3rd 2018, 2:43am

Transradio Press Service, Belgrade, Tuesday, 13 July 1948

“This is Robert Trout, reporting from Belgrade, Yugoslavia:”

“This city, normally bustling and festive, lies sombre and disconsolate, as Yugoslavs of all walks of life gather to say a final farewell to their beloved monarch, King Alexander. Authorities estimate that nearly five hundred thousand mourners will line the route that leads from the White Palace, residence of the Kings of Yugoslavia, to St. Georges Church in Topola, the burial place of the Ducal and Royal Family; built on the spot where Karađorđe was chosen as the leader of the first Serbian uprising against the Ottoman Empire in 1804.”

“From where I stand I can now see the leading element of the honour guard emerging from the grounds of the Palace, followed by the horse-drawn caisson bearing the body of the late King. A hush falls over the crowd as the cortege gets underway, punctuated by muffled drums. Following immediately behind the caisson on foot are Crown Prince Petar and his brothers, Prince Tomislav and Prince Andrew. In turn they are followed by carriages carrying the many foreign visitors – including Tsar Boris of Bulgaria, Chancellor Adenauer of Germany, Prime Minister Atlee of Great Britain, President Clemenceau of France, President Fyodorov of the Russian Federation, Prime Minister Spaak of Belgium, and Prime Minister Land of the Netherlands.”

“As the caisson bearing the King’s body makes it way down the boulevard the crowd seems to undulate as men and women bow in paying last respects to their beloved monarch – some dropping to their knees in prayer. In the wake of the carriages bearing the heads of state and government are car-after-car of other important visitors – the diplomatic corps, half of Europe’s surviving aristocracy, and many others.”


Monday, January 15th 2018, 12:23am

Belgrade, The While Palace, Tuesday, 20 July 1948

“Sire, it is imperative that you marry…”

Prince Paul, King Petar’s cousin, and nearest male relative, had made this point over the last several days with increasing forcefulness.

“That is easy for you to say,” the young king answered. His cousin had married some twenty-five years earlier, an arrangement for political considerations; the rumours of his escapades at Oxford that had come to the King’s ear during his own time there, coloured his views of the Prince’s domestic ‘happiness’.

“I must agree with His Highness,” said Prime Minister Nikola Karasec. Karasec had been King Alexander’s political manager in welding the disparate Serbs, Croats, Bosnians, Montenegrins, and Albanians into the modern parliamentary state that was modern-day Yugoslavia. “The dynasty is the principal pillar of the state – without the monarchy it is quite possible that Your Majesty’s subjects might each go their own way, even without external interference.”

Karasec referred, of course, to Italy. Despite their own internal squabbles Italians could agree that further dismemberment of the Yugoslav state was desirable. Thankfully the other European powers would look very unfavourably on any overt Italian actions in that direction, but the competing claims of Serbs and Croats, Orthodox and Catholic – to say nothing of the Bosnian Muslims – required a firm hand to navigate the course ahead.

The new king could not dismiss the Prime Minister’s logic as easily as he could the Prince’s. “Should I announce a grand ball and have Cinderella arrive in a pumpkin coach?” His sarcasm was biting – and while he understood his duty his father was dead barely two weeks. “Such things are not merely a matter of state but of the heart – and we are not yet ready to throw one over for the other; grant us time to mourn.”


Sunday, January 21st 2018, 1:01am

Novosti News Service, Belgrade, Thursday, 22 July 1948

Opening arguments were heard today in the trial of the six perpetrators of the hijacking of the Italian airliner which landed in Tirana this past May. Counsel for the prosecution began by reviewing the facts of the case and arguing that in conformity to the Law of Nations any government was competent to try a case of piracy, particularly one that had been committed in its jurisdiction. Counsel for the defence spoke to the political aspiration of the perpetrators and the harshness of the Italian regime from which they fled. The trial is expected to continue over the next several weeks.


Wednesday, January 31st 2018, 3:23am

Report of the Hungarian Military Attaché, Belgrade, Monday, 26 July 1948

According to my informants design approval has been given for the Kurjak medium tank, with priority contracts given to both First Yugoslav Heavy Engineering, the vehicle’s design parents, and the Jasenica Equipment and Machinery Company. While it is clear that the Yugoslav military desires to receive the first vehicles as soon as possible I do not expect production deliveries to commence before spring. Production of other armoured vehicles continue, though First Yugoslav Heavy Engineering has ceased production of the Orkan armoured reconnaissance vehicle in order to concentrate on the Kurjak tank project. Exports of the M47 infantry carrier to Syria continues.

Deliveries of the M43 self-loading infantry rifle have allowed most of the Yugoslav army’s frontline units to re-equip, more than four hundred thousand units having been produced; production is continuing at all three Yugoslav arsenals. Production of the M47 general purpose machinegun also continues at a high level. However, with the exception of the M47 recoilless gun production of mortars and artillery has ceased – all units having received their full complement and war reserves. It is thought that the Yugoslav General Staff is formulating new requirements to eventually replace the M40 gun howitzer.


Monday, February 5th 2018, 7:02pm

Belgrade, The While Palace, Tuesday, 28 July 1948

“So why did you agree to visit Berlin?” Prince Tomislav asked his brother Petar.

“Mainly to get away from Prince Paul and his constant carping,” the young king replied, “and Karasec is right – it is my duty to marry and beget an heir. He tells me there will be opportunities for me to meet – how did he say it – ‘suitable candidates’.”

“Talk about Cinderella and Prince Charming,” replied Tomislav.

“Yes… but he has also made noises of visiting other capitals. At least the Germans are relatively friendly to us.” Petar absently picked up a book that lay on the table. “See here,” he snorted, “the Almanach de Gotha, stud book of European nobility – Karasec has already highlighted those ladies he thinks worthy of me.”

“It is our duty,” his brother replied solemnly, “and the price we pay for ruling our people.”


Monday, February 19th 2018, 1:21am

Yugoslav News and Events, August 1948

Novosti News Service, Zagreb, Wednesday, 4 August 1948

Acting on information provided by an informant Zagreb police today recovered a cache of nine Old Master paintings stolen in England some six weeks ago. The paintings, valued in excess of £8,000, were found undamaged in a derelict warehouse and will be returned to their British owner as soon as possible.


Sunday, February 25th 2018, 1:54am

Novosti News Service, Bar, Sunday, 8 August 1948

The landing ships Bobovica and Corkovac have completed their operational training and will soon embark on amphibious exercises in the Kavajë District in the southern portion of the country.


Friday, March 2nd 2018, 8:29pm

Novosti News Service, Bar, Monday, 9 August 1948

Prince Tomislav visited the Adriatic Shipyards today to witness the completion and formal commissioning of the second pair of Project 1948 Gamma landing ships for the Royal Yugoslav Navy. Landing Ship C was christened Demicka and Landing Ship D was named as Grabovicka. They represent another step forward in the enlargement of the capabilities of the nation’s naval strength. A pair of sister craft were laid down earlier this year, and it is anticipated that two more will be laid down as soon as the building slips become available.


Wednesday, March 7th 2018, 3:59pm

Belgrade, Beograd Glavna Railway Station, Sunday, 15 August 1948

The Royal Train awaited at its platform for the last members of the delegation to arrive. Most members of the royal entourage had already arrived to find their places but the limousines carrying the King and the Prime Minister were among the last to arrive. The one wing of the station had been cleared of its normal traffic and a small crowd was kept back by a line of uniformed police. The entrance of King Petar into the hall was the signal for cheering, as the King continued to hold the trust and love of his people; Prime Minister Karasec’s reception was less enthusiastic but respectful none the less. With their immediate aides they made their way quickly to the platform and boarded the train.

Once he had reached his coach Petar slumped into a seat and sighed. He was not looking forward to this journey; but he faced it with resignation. He would do what he must for the good of the kingdom.


Wednesday, March 14th 2018, 3:08pm

Berlin, The Yugoslav Embassy, Friday, 20 August 1948

“Heavy is the head that wears the Crown,” said Petar during a momentary break in the seemingly endless line of guests who made their way into the reception hall.

“Indeed Your Majesty,” replied his chief equerry, Adem Čejvan, one of the few outside the family to whom Petar could confide. “More than half of those invited have already been introduced, and there should be no more than fifty parties left at this point.”

“You are most helpful Adem,” the king said, half-mockingly. The entire evening was Karasec’s fault. Of course it was necessary to made himself known to the notables of the German government, and he would be exchanging words with some of them later in the evening. But his prime minister had padded the guest list with more than a dozen German nobles whose sole assets – in so far as Karasec was concerned – was a marriageable daughter of the appropriate age. And of course these nobles had contrived to bring such assets to be introduced and be put on display. It was so old-fashioned.

The thump of the usher’s rod upon the floor announced the arrival of another party of self-important people. Čejvan whispered their name in Petar’s ear so that the king might keep the Count von What’s-it from becoming confused with the Baron von Who-ever. The parade resumed, consuming the king’s attention for at least another hour.

From his vantage point across the room Otto von Hapsburg observed King Petar’s obvious discomfort at the role he had been called upon to play. He reflected that had not the Great War intervened he would have found himself in the same situation – or – even more distasteful in his mind – his mother would have insisted on an arranged marriage for dynastic reasons. In the past the maxim of Matthias Corvinus, “Bella gerant alii, tu felix Austria, nube!” held far greater weight than any personal considerations. For all the loss of vain pomp and ceremony von Hapsburg preferred the reality of power and the freedom of choice his current circumstances conveyed.