The main contender to the title of the force that could liberate Yugoslavia from the
occupation in the future was the Royal Yugoslavian Army in Homeland, the so-called
Chetniks (created in Central Serbia, almost the day after the capitulation, by Colonel
Dragoljub Mihajlović, the Yugoslav Army's Colonel). However, those faithful to the king who
emigrated to London, with the official support of the western allies and even the Soviet
Union, represented the Serbian views that could not be appreciated by the other nations
that formed Yugoslavia. They were in favour of the pre-war restoration of Yugoslavia and the
preservation of the monarchy, and also in favour of restricting military action so as not to
provoke the occupying power to retaliate against the civilian population. Despite ideological
differences, both sides tried to negotiate the possibility of possible cooperation, but the talks
held in October 1941 ended in failure. A month later, the first serious clashes between the
Chetniks and Tito's guerrillas took place, opening another front for the civil war that was
actually taking place at that time.
Monarchists of Mihajlović, seeing communists as a threat to their own post-war plans for
Yugoslavia, decided to establish contacts with the collaborative regime of General Milan
Nedić (a puppet state in Serbia), as well as with the Italian occupation forces, gaining their
support in the fight against Tito's guerrilla. This was a strategic mistake which later
compromised the Chetnik movement in the eyes of the Allies and was meticulously and
eagerly exploited by Communist propaganda. Its influence significantly limited the
development of the Chetnik movement, so that at the peak of the day they had the strength
of about 100 thousand soldiers, almost three times smaller than Tito's communist partisans.
It is therefore not surprising that the main burden of the struggle, and later also of the
liberation of the country, rested on the shoulders of the latter.
As the number of partisan armies increased, so did the political importance of Tito himself,
expressed by the proclamation of the Council of National Liberation of Yugoslavia, the so-
called AVNOJ, in the liberated by the partisans Bihać. It brought together 54 anti-fascist and
sympathetic with the Communist movement groups. More importantly, it did not include
the representation of the only legal army recognised by the government in exile, i.e.
Chetniks. This meant further marginalisation of the monarchs, as confirmed by the official
revision of the position of the Western Allies who, after the Great Troika Conference in
Tehran, clearly signalled their support for the People's Liberation Forces of Josip Broz Tito by
sending them for a military mission.
Since then, the communists who had been masters of the situation took vigorous action to
liberate the territory of Yugoslavia. They benefited from the support of the fighting Anglo-
American troops in Italy. By the autumn of 1944, they had already conquered two-thirds of
the country, acting with the use of the accomplished facts method and organizing the
beginnings of administration in the liberated area. In October, together with the Red Army
units, Belgrade was liberated, and Tito announced the transition of the People's Liberation
Forces to the Yugoslav Army, which, alongside the Soviets, fought later on in Hungary and
alongside the Western Allies in northern Italy.