|“||The Muslim population has through its behaviour arrived at the situation where our people no longer wish to have them in our midst. It is necessary already now to prepare their exodus to Turkey or anywhere else outside our borders.||„|
|~ Mihailović's reasoning for his Muslim genocide.|
Dragoljub "Draža" Mihailović (27 April 1893 – 17 July 1946) was a Yugoslav Serb general and the founder and leader of the underground Chetnik organization, an anti-Axis group and active combatant in World War II. However, despite his anti-Axis goals, Mihailović often collaborated with the Axis, including with Ustaše forces in Bosnia and even with the Nazis directly. The Chetniks are also known to have committed genocide against Jews, Croats and Muslims in Yugoslavia.
Mihailović went into hiding in Serbia following the German occupation of Yugoslavia, and established a small group of officers before starting to plan the creation of a resistance movement. After organizing the Chetniks, Mihailović ordered his men to begin acts of sabotage against the German occupiers, preferring this over direct military action due to the possibility of reprisals such as two that took place at Kraljevo and Kragujevac in response to Chetnik activities. However, the Chetniks began engaging in direct assaults on German forces after the creation of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia by Josip Broz Tito, with the two groups sometimes engaging in joint assaults despite conflicting ideologies.
Chetnik ideology espoused the notion of Greater Serbia, to be achieved by forcing population shifts in order to create ethnically homogeneous areas. Due to this ideology and actions taken by Muslim and Croatian groups, the Chetniks engaged in numerous acts of violence including massacres and destruction of property, and used terror tactics to drive out non-Serb groups. Mihailović, in his position as Supreme Commander of the Chetniks, was responsible for these atrocities, and even issued an order to Chetnik commander Pavle Đurišić that he was to carry out "cleansing actions" against Muslims and Croats, including the destruction of Muslim and Croat villages and the massacres of women and children belonging to those groups. The Chetniks also carried out genocidal massacres against the Jewish population of Yugoslavia.
The Chetniks ultimately turned against Tito's partisans due to his communist ideology, and began attempting to destroy the League of Communists of Yugoslavia, even collaborating with the Italians until Adolf Hitler forced them to suspend their support for the Chetniks, allowing the communist partisans to defeat the Chetniks at the battle of the Neretva. The Axis then turned their attention to destroying the Chetniks, forcing Mihailović into hiding. However he was able to regain his hold over Yugoslavia following an increase in Allied support for the Chetniks, only to be met by an increase in German activities against the Chetniks and a resultant increase in communist presence following the withdrawal of Italy from the war in 1943.
In order to avoid destruction, many Chetniks began collaborating with the Nazi puppet prime minister of Montenegro, Milan Nedić. Mihailović himself was eventually persuaded to collaborate with the Nazis after they realized that Tito was a bigger threat, and as a result was expelled from the Yugoslav cabinet-in-exile. This proved to be a mistake as the Communist Party of the Soviet Union invaded soon after in order to assist Tito against the Axis, leading to the Chetnik's military defeat and Mihailović once again being forced into hiding. He was eventually captured by the Tito-lead government in 1946 and charged with treason and war crimes. Mihailović was convicted on all counts and executed by firing squad on 17 July 1946.