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Thursday, March 23rd 2017, 11:07pm

Yugoslav News and Events, 1948

Novosti News Service, Bar, Thursday, 1 January 1948

The slipways of the Adriatic Shipyards are busy today as no fewer than four vessels see their keels laid. The ammunition auxiliaries of the Project 1948 Alpha design will absorb half of the yard’s workforce for nearly a year, while the landing ships of the Project 1948 Gamma design are expected to support the remaining portion; it is probable that the shipyard will be hiring additional workers to assure that construction schedules are met – for one of the two minelayer ordered for the Royal Yugoslav Navy remains under construction. All this has spurred economic activity in the city and in the surrounding district.


Thursday, March 23rd 2017, 11:10pm

Delivery Status Report, 31 March 1948

Domestic Ground Ordnance Production

M43 Service Rifle -:- 39,000
M47 GP Machinegun -:- 1,800
M39 Aircraft Machinegun -:- 150
M37 Tank Machinegun -:- 90
M40 Rocket Launcher -:- 450
M32 Hand Grenade -:- 540,000
Small Arms Ammunition -:- 42,000,000
Artillery Ammunition -:- 540,000

Domestic Vehicle Production for Royal Yugoslav Army

Zastava M40 0.25-ton Truck -:- 450
Zastava M41 1.5-ton Truck -:- 1,000
Novi Sad M44 3-ton Truck -:- 935
Novi Sad M46 Artillery Tractor -:- 325
AT.47 Tank Destroyer -:- 36
Orkan Armoured Reconnaissance Vehicle -:- 96
M47 Half Track Infantry Carrier -:- 54

Aircraft Deliveries

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


Thursday, March 30th 2017, 2:31am

Novosti News Service, Zagreb, Tuesday, 6 January 1948

“The Sword of Truth”, sequel to last year’s “The Sword of Justice”, saw its premiere last evening to sold-out crowds, and it is beyond question that Zagreb Films has another popular film in its hands. Karlo Bulić reprises the role of Maćevolac, “The Swordsman”, a dashing freedom fighter whom some believe to be the reincarnation of Andrijica Simic – the famous Croatian hajduk. In “The Sword of Truth” the hero acts to clear the reputation of an Italian army officer falsely accused of a massacre of Dalmatian peasants and bring to book those who have framed him for the crime.


Monday, April 3rd 2017, 7:25pm

Sombor Air Base, Apatin, Friday 9 January 1948

Air Force Chief of Staff Rupnik and his aides had arrived at the air base the previous evening on what was officially billed as a tour of inspection; and they had toured the base in a rather perfunctory manner. But their presence betrayed to every man on the base that something unusual was up.

The answer to their curiosity came in the late morning when an unfamiliar sound could be heard in the distance; in the control tower officers at the electronic detection equipment were tracking an aircraft moving at unusual speed; when this was reported, the observers were told to remain calm. Moments later a twin-engine aircraft thundered over the airfield, attracting all eyes due to its screaming engines and its lightning-like movements. Relatively few Royal Yugoslav Air Force officers had seen a jet-powered aircraft before, and none of those present at the Sombor bomber base had done so.

The aircraft made a circuit of the field and then slowed for its landing approach, taking advantage of the long, hard-surface runway, and braking its speed with a drogue parachute. When it came to a stop it could be seen that it was marked with the black cross of the German air force, and several official cars were hurrying out to meet it.

Hours later an official announcement was issued, stating that the first of three Arado Ar234 light bomber aircraft leased by Yugoslavia for evaluation had been delivered. This caused something of a stir, as was intended.


Friday, April 14th 2017, 10:56pm

Report of the Hungarian Military Attaché, Belgrade, Thursday, 15 January 1948

Reports that the Yugoslav navy intends to create an amphibious force to operate in the Adriatic have been confirmed; two landing ships have been laid down and my sources indicate that as many as eight units are to be constructed. Further, two examples of a larger supply ship – which could support amphibious operations once a lodgement has been made – are also being built. In the coastal waters of the Adriatic such craft could provide useful support to any attempts by the Yugoslav army to confront the Italian forces in the southern portion of Dalmatia.

The first of several Arado Ar234 light bomber aircraft has been delivered to the Yugoslav air force for evaluation; it appears that the Yugoslavs have pressed Germany for the supply of additional machines but to date such requests have been refused. Delivery of British Meteor fighter aircraft continues, as does domestic efforts to develop a jet fighter aircraft; my sources indicate however that a new technical mission will be sent to France to consider developments there.

Production of the M47 machinegun is building up rapidly, with nearly four thousand delivered to date; deliveries of the M43 semi-automatic rifle exceed 300,000 – representing a significant increase in firepower for the Yugoslav army. Development work on the indigenous medium tank continues with a prototype expected to emerge soon. While production of the new wheeled reconnaissance vehicle is reportedly proceeding at an acceptable pace production of the semi-track infantry carrier is lagging.


Thursday, April 27th 2017, 1:10am

Novosti News Service, Belgrade, Tuesday, 20 January 1948

It was announced today that an agreement has been reached with the French Government regarding the purchase of Dassault Ouragan II fighter aircraft for the Royal Yugoslav Air Force. Specifics of the number involved have not yet been released, but the Air Force has requirements in excess of two hundred aircraft to succeed the Soko Orao in the day interceptor role.

The Yugoslav Embassy, Damascus, Monday, 26 January 1948

Lieutenant Colonel Janko Bobetko was overjoyed with the results of the day’s meeting with officials of the Syrian Government. They had inked an agreement to provide the Syrian Army with substantial numbers of the new M47 half-track infantry carrier to equip its planned mechanised brigades. The order was for seventy vehicles, with an option for seventy more, with deliveries to commence in the spring. Bobetko was confident that the Royal Yugoslav Army could be persuaded to sacrifice its own delivery schedules for the gain of foreign currency by the Treasury. The Syrians were proving to be one of Yugoslavia’s largest and steadiest overseas customers, and the growth of Yugoslav influence in the Levant counted for something in the grand scheme of things.


Friday, May 5th 2017, 12:45am

Yugoslav News and Events, February 1948

Novosti News Service, Belgrade, Monday, 2 February 1948

The floating dry dock completed at the port of Bar last December has left under tow for its ultimate destination, the naval base at Durrës. It is expected to arrive there later this month, and become operational in the early summer.


Wednesday, May 24th 2017, 2:19am

Belgrade, The Ministry of Defence, Monday, 9 February 1948

Major General Lav Rupnik pondered the wisdom of the proposal drawn up by his staff. The long-simmering state of tension between Yugoslavia and its Italian neighbour demanded constant vigilance, and with the arrival of Arado Ar234 bombers from Germany the means were at hand to test the efficacy of Italian air defences. The risk of such a course was that the Italians might actually intercept one of the Arados, and only three had been leased from Germany; losing one would be bad enough, but it was quite likely the embarrassment would prompt Germany to demand the immediate return of the others.

The plan by his staff called for the border radar chain to monitor any Italian response to the approach of an Arado to Italian air space over Occupied Slovenia – the presumption being that the pilot of the Arado would not actually violate Italian territory. It also presumed that the Italians would not over-react and engage in a hot pursuit into Yugoslav air space.

For the moment he would take no action on the proposal; it would have to wait for better weather in any case. He would have to get approval of the Prime Minister in any event, and there were too many items being juggled at the moment to know how that might turn out.