Draza Mihailovich

Chetniks of Ravna Gora

Chetniks of Ravna Gora

Through the undaunted efforts of his troops, many United States airmen were rescued and returned safely to friendly control. General Mihailovic and his forces, although lacking adequate supplies, and fighting under extreme hardships, contributed materially to the Allied cause, and were instrumental in obtaining a final Allied Victory.
March 29, 1948

President Truman awarded Mihailovich the Legion of Merit, the highest combat award the U.S. government can give to a foreign national, but it was kept secret for decades because of pressure from the State Department.

In a letter, American President Richard Nixon said about General Draza:

General Draza Mihailovich was a patriot, a brave soldier and a gallant ally of the United States and every nation that went to war in the early forties to destroy the tyrannies that sought to enslave our world.

Hundreds of American pilots owe their lives to General Mihailovich and his forces and, the American people will never forget that debt.

As long as there are patriots in any nation, the name of General Mihailovich will be remembered and revered."

In telling about General Draza Mihailovic, Ronald Reagan said:

"... I believe that the spirit in which you have gathered here to honor the memory of General Mihailovich, the faithful allied commander and the first anti-Nazis leader in Europe, is shared by the great majority of Americans.

The ultimate tragedy of Draza Mihailovic cannot erase the memory of his heroic and often lonely struggle against the twin tyrannies that afflicted his people, Nazism and Communism. He knew that totalitarianism, whatever name it might take, is the death of freedom. He thus became a symbol of resistance to all those across the world who have had to fight a similar heroic and lonely struggle against totalitarianism. Mihailovich belonged to Yugoslavia; his spirit now belongs to all those who are willing to fight for freedom.

I wish that it could be said that this great hero was the last victim of confused and senseless policies of western governments in dealing with Communism. The fact is that others have suffered a fate similar to his by being embraced and then abandoned by western governments in the hope that such abandonment will purchase peace or security.

Thus, the fate of General Mihailovich is not simply of historic significance--it teaches us something today, as well. No western nation, including the United States, can hope to win its own battle for freedom and survival by sacrificing brave comrades to the politics of international expediency.

......... it has been demonstrated beyond doubt that both freedom and honor suffer when firm commitments become sacrificed to false hopes of appeasing aggressors by abandoning friends."

DRAZA MIHAILOVICH the Hero, as told by Major Richard L. Felman U.S.A.F., Retired in his Book:

American war vetran Major Richard Felman, author of "Mihailovich & I", wrote and published his work as an extraordinary gesture of gratitude and Appreciation for General Draza Miahailovich and his loyal Chetniks who rescued, sheltered and saved him and other American airmen from the Nazis and their fascis collaborators - Croatian Ustashas and Muslim fundamentalists- during the bloody World War II in occupied Yugoslavia.

In his book he praises not only the paramount role of General Mihailovich and the courage of the Chetnik fighters, but also the hospitality of the Serbian people and their passionate quest for freedom.

Major Felman's book is a testament not only to the Resistance Movement under the banner of Draza, but of the undeniable truth of the great contribution of the Serbian people to the Allied Forces and their victory over Nazism and Fascism.

A special place is given to the Allied pilots (Americans in particular) who survived the Nazi attcks after parachuting into the contryside of Serbia and their mentors- Draza's Chetniks. Major Felman emphasizes the fact that this rescue mission greatly endangered Draza's soldiers and Serbian civilinan population- especially the peasants- as Nazi reprisals were imminent. Some 500 American pilots found safety and fredom, as they were transfered in the second half of 1944 into Allied bases in newly freed territories in neighbouring Italy.

There, they shared their experiences and told their stories of bravery, rescue, and Serbian peoples' enormous suffering under the Nazi- Facist occupation, to their supiriors and comrades alike. ronically, by this hour the very same Allied Forces had already betrayed Draza and his Chetniks as well as the freedom loving Serbian people.


Sa Verom u Boga, Za Krst Casni i Slobodu Zlatnu

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