Cover image for American foreign policy and Yugoslavia, 1939-1941
American foreign policy and Yugoslavia, 1939-1941
Tasovac, Ivo.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
College Station : Texas A&M University Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
xi, 244 pages ; 24 cm.
The American perception of Yugoslavia on the eve of World War II -- Croato-Serbian rapprochement in light of American diplomacy -- Roosevelt's peace offensive and the future of Yugoslavia -- Lane's period in the diplomatic wilderness -- The struggle of Yugoslavia's "neutrality" -- Mutatis mutandis -- Yugoslavia between Scylla and Charybdis -- Yugoslavia chooses the tripartite pact -- The American press and the coup -- Coup d'etat -- War and aftermath.
Reading Level:
1520 Lexile.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E183.8.Y8 T37 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



In American Foreign Policy and Yugoslavia, 1939-1941, Ivo Tasovac contends that Yugoslavia acted as an unwilling prop for American involvement in World War II. As a result of America's commitment to Britain as an exception to their doctrine of neutrality, and of Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt's shared eagerness for conflict and suppression of Germany, the war and ensuing Communist takeover of Eastern Europe were inevitable. With Yugoslavia cast as the endangered barrier between the Germans and the Mediterranean, Churchill was able to establish a unquestionable need for U.S. military action. Britain's leader could seize on the small country as a staging area for activating the Soviets in order to eliminate Italy and weaken Germany in the process. Tasovac contends that pressure from the British government and the American diplomats investigating the situation in fact enforced the Serbian coup d'etat to overthrow Prince Paul of Yugoslavia when he appeared to sympathetic to Germany, even though the Serbians had no intentions of fighting. With all of the ingredients for conflict in place, the ensuing struggle for Yugoslavian freedom was unavoidable. By bringing the war to the Balkans, Churchill and Roosevelt shaped the next half century of international politics and domination. American Foreign Policy towards Yugoslavia documents and analyzes the decisions and policies that made this action so detrimental to Yugoslavia and other Balkan states. Tasovac brings new light to the realities of the engagement in Yugoslavia and the long-standing effects, discarding the appearances of history for the truth.This study is ideal for a broad audience of scholars, including those interested in NATO policies applied to the Balkan states, the relationship between the United States and those states, Franklin D. Roosevelt's influence on the world stage during his presidency and World War II, and the history of Yugoslavia as a whole.

Author Notes

Ivo Tasovac, a graduate of University of California at Berkeley, continued graduate studies in European history and librarianship, also at Berkeley. He was appointed as a subject specialist and bibliographer at the University of Utah Library, where he continued his education in American diplomatic history.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

The US knew little about Yugoslavia in early 1941, when President Roosevelt sent Colonel William Donovan on an "unofficial" mission to Belgrade and other Balkan capitals to urge resistance to German and Italian expansion. The notion was that a Balkan Front, fought by proxy, might take the heat off Britain and draw the Soviet Union into the conflict. The war was already in its second year and Yugoslavia was caught within increasing pressure from Nazi Germany to join the Tripartite Pact, British and American attempts to win Yugoslavia to their side, and growing internal problems. Tasovac tells an unpleasant little tale of British conniving, American ignorance, American threats of what would happen to Yugoslavia if it joined the Pact, and unfulfilled promises of help if it resisted. He proves that the British and the Americans were very much involved in the Serbian military conspiracy that took power after Yugoslavia signed the Pact, bringing about the collapse and dismemberment of Yugoslavia, Fascist occupation, and civil war. Solidly researched. Appendixes. Upper-division undergraduates and above. E. M. Despalatovic; Connecticut College