Question of Trieste
by Pat Skelly
The extracts which follow are taken from the now declassified
weekly Intelligence Review, published by the [United States]
War Department General Staff, Military Intelligence Division.
Very few of us, not even among those who served in Trieste with
the 88th Infantry Division or TRUST (Trieste US Troops), were
aware then of how fragile the diplomatic and military situation
was in Trieste and along the Italian/Yugoslav border. I hope
this work will be of value to the serious student in understanding
the stress and undercurrents of that time. Rather than edit
out redundancies in this material I have left them in place.
Review, Issue 1, 14 Feb 46, pp. 61-63.
World in Review
Commission to Study Italo-Yugoslav Boundary Problem
Foreign Ministers' Deputies Commission will arrive shortly in
Trieste in an attempt to fix an Italo-Yugoslav boundary which
will satisfy the mixed Italian-Slovene population of Venezia
Giulia ethnically, economically, and politically. It has not
yet become clear to what extent the Soviet Union will back Yugoslav
claims to Venezia Giulia. Italo-Slav animosity over the issue
has already created a tense atmosphere and caused some bloodshed.
obtained control of the entire Istrian Peninsula and the Dalmatian
coast by treaty after World War I. Thereafter, the age-old friction
between Italians and Yugoslavs was aggravated by Italian atrocities
in the conquest of Yugoslavia and by Yugoslav reprisals during
the Tito campaign which preceded the German collapse. In May
1945, Yugoslav troops occupied Trieste (at the head of the Adriatic,
on the west coast of Istria), and, as a result of subsequent
Italo-Slav affrays and cross-charges, Venezia Giulia was divided
into two zones, separated by the so-called Morgan Line. The
Allied-administered western zone includes Pola and the important
port city of Trieste, and has direct communication into Austria;
the Yugoslav-controlled eastern zone contains Italy's major
resources of mercury, bauxite, and coal.
De Gasperi has announced Italy's willingness to accept a boundary
suggested after World War I by Woodrow Wilson, which would leave
Italy with about two-thirds of the Istrian Peninsula, including
the principal coal and bauxite deposits, but which would give
the Yugoslavs the large cities of Fiume and Zara and the entire
Dalmatian coast. Tito claims not only the Dalmatian coast but
all of the Venezia Giulia region as well. The Council of Foreign
Ministers, unable to decide upon a boundary at its London conference
some months ago, recommended that the port of Trieste be internationalized,
with the city itself remaining Italian, and that a commission
of their deputies be sent to investigate the boundary question.
It is this commission which is now preparing to convene.
normal population of Venezia Giulia is predominantly Italian
in the large cities and Slovene in the hinterland. There are
indications that, in preparation for the commission's visit,
the Yugoslavs have been attempting to deport Italians. The Russian-trained
Italian Communist leader, Palmiro Togliatti, first supported
the Yugoslavs, but has now switched to a pro-Italian stand as
a result of his party's loss of prestige last year; The Italian
Communist Party of Venezia Giulia is also pro-Italian. This
reversal by the Italian Communists, coupled with other reports,
indicates that the U.S.S.R. may be withdrawing its original
support of Tito's claims. It is possible that the U.S.S.R.,
which has been demanding a trusteeship of the Italian African
colony of Tripolitania, has decided to encourage Italian claims
at the expense of Yugoslavia in order to regain Russian prestige
in Italy and strengthen the Italian Communist Party.
Review, Issue 3, 28 Feb 46, pp. 30-36.
Venezia Giulia: Area of Dispute
pattern of peace is established only in its broadest terms by
international policies and principals; in actual practice, the
pattern is woven of compromises and accords reached in resolving
one little conflict after another. Important among the current
disputes is the one involving the Venezia Giulia area of Italy.
Like some which have been settled and many still to be considered,
the Venezia Giulia controversy is the whole peace problem in
miniature, involving as it does the interests of the victorious
Great Powers, those of a vanquished enemy nation, and those
of a country once overrun by the Axis - with all those interests
inter-related to the basic rights of local ethnic groups, the
viewpoints of political systems, the economic realities of world
rehabilitation, and the military considerations of tomorrow's
balance of power.
Area in Question
Giulia, an area of 3,389 square miles which includes the Istrian
Peninsula, has a population of about 1 million. While the cities
are predominant Italian, the rural areas are largely Slovene,
but the two groups are approximately equal in numbers. Historically
the region was part of the Roman Empire, but from medieval times
until 1918 it was under Austrian-Hungarian domination. The secret
1915 Treaty of London (which was repudiated by Woodrow Wilson)
awarded Venezia Giulia to Italy. Italian control was recognized
in 1918 by the Treaty of St. Germain with Austria and in 1920
by the Treaty of Rapallo with Yugoslavia.
World War II, the traditional friction between Italians and
Yugoslavs was aggravated by Italian atrocities committed during
the conquest of Yugoslavia and by Yugoslav reprisals during
Tito's campaign preceding the German collapse. In May 1945,
Yugoslav troops occupied Trieste, and, as a result of Italo-Slav
affrays and cross-claims, Venezia Giulia was divided into two
zones, separated by the so-called Morgan Line. (See map.)
as Italy had lost the opportunity afforded her in 1918 of integrating
the agricultural Slavs and the urban and maritime Italians,
the questions of frontier rectification and population exchanges
are now raised. It is doubtful that population exchanges alone
would remove Italo-Yugoslav animosity. Should Italy lose all
or the bulk of Venezia Giulia, either by peace treaty or a Yugoslav
coup, a revival of pre-1914 irredentism is probable. Such an
environment would hardly foster friendly economic and diplomatic
intercourse between the two nations; thus a more equitable solution
would favor the cause of general peace.
Premier de Gasperi has announced Italy's willingness to accept
a boundary suggested after World War I by Woodrow Wilson, which
would leave Italy with about two-thirds of the Istrian Peninsula,
including the principal mercury, bauxite, and coal deposits,
but which would give Yugoslavia the large cities of Fiume and
Zara and the entire Dalmatian coast.
claims not only the Dalmatian coast but all of Venezia Giulia
and a small area to the West of it as well.
economic value of Venezia Giulia is based on the following:
The deep water ports of Trieste, Fiume, and Pola, providing
access to central Europe;
(2) Industries located mainly in Trieste and Fiume, including
shipbuilding, oil refineries, chemicals, steel, textiles, cement
and food processing;
(3) Mineral resources, including coal, bauxite, zinc, lead,
(4) Agriculture; and
area provided Italy with half of its bauxite, one-third of its
coal, and one-sixth of its mercury.
the period 2-16 February 1946 the Yugoslavs increased their
units along the Morgan Line by 150 percent. At the present time
there are ten infantry divisions, one armored division, and
two KNOJ (Elite Police) brigades there. All the identified new
arrivals are Fourth Army units, which have been moved up from
the part of Slovenia between Ljubljana and the Morgan Line.
However, there have also been reports of units moving north
along the Dalmatian Coast and west through Belgrade. With the
exception of two infantry divisions, the entire Yugoslav Fourth
Army, totalling 110,000 men, is now in Zone "B". Most of the
units were at first concentrated in the vicinity of Fiume and
Postumia, but are now believed to have fanned out north and
south along the Morgan Line and through the Istrian Peninsula.
An increase in the movement of new equipment and supplies to
units in the Fourth Army has also been noted. These units are
believed to be better equipped and manned than others in the
Yugoslav Army. "Defensive positions" and semi-permanent fortifications
are being erected.
in justification of these reinforcements of Zone "B", the Russians
recently presented to the Security Council a Yugoslav memorandum
charging that General Anders' Second Polish Corps had been moved
into northeastern Italy and was recruiting elements unfriendly
XIII (BR) Corps was the Allied force in Zone "A" and northeastern
Italy at this time with the 88th (US) Inf Div on the northern
segment of the Morgan Line, the 56th London (BR) Inf Div on
the southern segment of the Morgan Line, and the 1st (BR) Armd
Div to the west in Veneto.]
Quadripartite Commission's Problem
appointed by the deputies of the Foreign Ministers of Great
Britain, the U.S.S.R, France, and the United States - the four
powers that will eventually determine the Italian peace treaty
- is presently authorized to determine pertinent facts upon
which a new ethnic Yugoslav-Italian border can be based. This
procedure was established when the Council of Foreign Ministers,
at its London conference in September 1945, agreed upon internationalization
of the port of Trieste, with the city remaining Italian, but
was unable to agree upon any settlement of other issues involved.
The arrival of the deputies' commission in the area has been
delayed, but it will begin its work in the near future.
commission will seek to resolve the ethnic, economic, and political
problems of the mixed Italian-Slovene population of Venezia
Giulia. There have been recent indications of a Yugoslav program
for the Slovenization of the Yugoslav-occupied area (Zone "B")
prior to the arrival of the Commission. This has taken the form
of propaganda, census falsification, police brutality toward
Italian sympathizers and deportation of Italians. In the area
occupied by American and British forces (Zone "A") the Yugoslavs
are directing a "war of nerves" against the population. Yugoslav
flags and Italian flags bearing red stars are being smuggled
in from Ljubljana to be flown in during the commission's visit.
Despite Allied Military Government decrees, children in Slovene
schools are being indoctrinated along Yugoslav lines. Infiltration
of Yugoslav agents into Zone "A" and illegal raids and abductions
by their secret police in that zone are also increasing. It
has been reported that "in all villages", young people are erecting
triumphal arches, decorating windows with pictures of Yugoslav
Premier Tito, and writing slogans on walls to show pro-Tito
agreeing to the establishment of the Commission in September
1945, the Soviets have adopted a "hands off" policy toward the
Venezia Giulia problem in order to re-establish Russian prestige
in Italy and strengthen the Italian Communist Party. This was
evidenced by the switch to a pro-Italian stand made by the Russian-trained
leader of the Italian Communist Party, Palmiro Togliatti. The
Soviet Union may have adopted this aloofness toward Yugoslav
demands in order to soften Italian reaction to the Soviet enunciation
of its desire for a sole trusteeship of Italy's African colony,
Tripolitania. However, the deputies' commission, which was due
to arrive in Trieste about 15 February, is being delayed because
the U.S.S.R. wants the commission's investigation restricted
to Zone "A", which indicates a change in Soviet policy. Should
the other three powers accede to the Soviet demand, the bulk
of Tito's claims would be granted at the start. This reversal
of Soviet policy in favor of Tito will cause an unfavorable
reaction in Italy, weaken the Italian Communist Party, and undoubtedly
will affect the Italian elections this spring.
Soviet Union, with its influence over Tito, now probably can
be expected to back present Yugoslav aspiration in one of two
By continued refusal to allow the Allied Boundary Commission
to enter the Yugoslav-held Zone "B" - thereby nullifying the
Commission's power and defeating its mission at the outset;,
(2) By giving Tito a free hand in case of an adverse decision
by the Peace Conference, permitting him to take independent
action to achieve his own ends in Venezia Giulia. It is improbable
that the Russians would furnish military support to any Yugoslav
action, since their chief purpose probably would be to test
the determination of the Allies to enforce the decision of the
action could take either of two forms:
Tito could use the various clandestine, semi-military organizations
in Venezia Giulia to instigate "popular uprisings" throughout
the area and then declare his Government incapable of checking
the "spontaneous reaction" of Yugoslav troops in response to
such a "popular appeal"; or
(2) He could direct the pro-Yugoslav groups to foment strikes
and disorders which would incapacitate the Allied Military Government
in Zone "A" to such an extent that Yugoslav troops would be
"forced" to intervene, ostensibly to protect the Slovene and
pro-Yugoslav population from alleged Italian imperialistic persecution.
either case, The Yugoslav Fourth Army is capable of seizing
and holding Zone "A" against the British, American, and Italian
forces now in northeastern Italy. The Yugoslav Second Army,
now based in Zagreb, could assume the defense of the Austrian
border and serve as a second line of defense for the forces
in Venezia Giulia. However, without Russian aid in the air,
the Yugoslav forces would be almost defenseless against Allied
air and naval attacks.
Review, Issue 26, 8 Aug 46, pp. 32-34.
Yugoslav-Italian Border Settlement Complicated
in July the Council of Foreign Ministers reached a compromise
settlement concerning the Yugoslav-Italian border. They agreed
that: (1) All territory east of the ethnic boundary proposed
by the French should be ceded by Italy to Yugoslavia; (2) Trieste
and its environs should be internationalized,the Free Territory
of Trieste to be constituted within the French line between
Duino and Cittanova; (3) the Security Council of the United
Nations should assure the integrity and independence of the
Free Territory; (4) the provisional government and the permanent
statute of the Free Territory should guarantee the principles
of universal suffrage, democratic government, and the fundamental
freedoms of religion, press, language, schools, and access to
public services.; and (5) a special commission representing
the Big Four should prepare a preliminary report concerning
the provisional government and permanent statute for Trieste
for the Council of Foreign Ministers which, in turn, would present
recommendations to the Peace Conference.
implications of this broad basic agreement have given rise to
numerous complications which indicate that a final settlement
may not be reached for some time. The four members of the special
commission have not reached agreement of what is meant by "internationalization".
The Soviet conception of "internationalization" actually would
make the Free Territory of Trieste part of the area of Eastern
Europe under Soviet hegemony. Yugoslavia has gone even farther.
The Yugoslav statement, submitted to the commission by Dr. Aleks
Bebler, flatly rejected the proposed internationalization, but
added that, if internationalization must be carried out, there
should be a "real union" with Yugoslavia. "Real union", as proposed
by the Yugoslavs, would take the form of the appointment of
a governor by Yugoslavia, a customs and monetary union between
the Free Territory and Yugoslavia, a common railway administration
managed by the Yugoslav railways, a Yugoslav free zone in the
port of Trieste under sole Yugoslav jurisdiction, and Yugoslav
representation abroad for the Free Territory. Dr. Bebler also
suggested that the provisional government be formed from the
pro-Yugoslav liberation committees and political groups now
operating in Zone "A" outside the Allied Military Government
(See Int. Rev. No. 18, page 11.).
Italians, probably with British support, have argued against
these Yugoslav proposals. They maintain that the institutions
created in Zone "A" under the AMG provide a satisfactory basis
for the transitional regime, and urge that Italy represent the
Free Territory abroad, and that Trieste should be in a customs
and monetary union with Italy. Foreign Minister-designate Pietro
Nenni of Italy has also been contacting various delegations
at the Paris Peace Conference in an effort to get the Free Territory
expanded to include Pola and the western Istrian coast.
Problems To Be Solved
other problems remain to be solved, largely in connection with
the transition from Allied occupation in Zone "A" to the establishment
of the international administration. The question of the size
and composition of the security force for the Free Territory,
both during and after the transitional period, has not yet been
resolved. The transfer of both Italians and Yugoslavs who do
not wish to remain in Trieste or Venezia Giulia, under the proposed
arrangement, to the country of their selection must be arranged.
A revision of the Morgan-Jovanovic agreement among the Yugoslavs,
British, and Americans must still be worked out with a view
to eliminating the Yugoslav detachment in Zone "A" and permitting
realignment of Yugoslav and Allied forces along the line proposed
by the French instead of along the present Morgan Line.
Review, Issue 53, 20 Feb 47, pp. 16-22.
The Security Council and Trieste
United Nations' Security Council, on last 10 January, approved
the three annexes to the Italian Peace Treaty establishing the
Free Territory of Trieste and the Free Port of Trieste. (See
map on page 18.) These documents are (1) Annex VI, Permanent
Statute of the Free Territory of Trieste; (2) Annex VII, Instrument
for The Provisional Régime of the Free Territory of Trieste;
Annex VIII, Instrument for the Free Port of Trieste. The assignment
to the Security Council of responsibility for the future of
Trieste is set forth in Article 21 (Sec. III) of the Italian
Treaty. The "Allied and Associated Powers" and Italy recognize
the Free Territory of Trieste and agree "that its integrity
and independence shall be assured by the Security Council ..."
The Free Territory shall be governed by the provisional régime
established by the Council of Foreign Ministers and approved
by the Security Council. This government shall remain until
the Security Council effects the establishment of a government
under the Permanent Statute.
in the Security Council
the documents were presented for the approval of the Security
Council, some U.N. representatives expressed doubt as to whether
the Charter gives the Security Council power to accept responsibility
for the Trieste area or not. Mr. N.J.O. Makin, Australian representative
and President of the Council during January, stated that, in
accepting the duty assigned to it by the Treaty, the Council
would, in effect, become the supreme governing body of the territory
and city, and the ultimate authority over its government and
internal affairs. At Paris, the Australians had pointed out
that, whether the Charter authorized such power for the Security
Council or not, there was still another objection - the veto.
In a crisis the veto could prevent the Security Council from
executing the mandate of the Treaty; therefore, Charter revision
of the veto right must precede the assumption of such an obligation.
The Australian representative denied that Chapters VI and VII
of the Charter (Pacific Settlement of Disputes, and Action with
Respect to Threats to the Peace, Breaches of the Peace, and
Acts of Aggression respectively.) authorized the Council to
give any guarantees of independence or integrity to a specific
territory. Makin urged either the amendment of the Charter authorizing
the acceptance of the treaty provisions or, lacking an amendment,
an effort by the signatories to the treaty to refrain from the
threat or use of force against the Free Territory.
Syrian representative on the Security Council also questioned
the authority of the Council. The obligation of the U.N. member
States to accept and carry out the decision of the Security
Council in respect to the Italian Treaty also was regarded skeptically.
submitted on behalf of the Secretary-General by A.A. Sobolev,
Assistant Secretary-General in charge of Security Council affairs,
found that the Council had the authority to assume the responsibilities,
and that the member States were obligated to execute the decisions
of the Council. Representatives of the Big Four also supported
the treaty provisions. Andrei A. Gromyko, Soviet Union representative,
pointed particularly to Article 24 of the Charter. ("In order
to assure prompt and effective action by the United Nations,
its members confer on the Security Council primary responsibility
for the maintenance of peace and security, and agree that in
carrying out its duties under this responsibility the Security
Council acts on their behalf ... specific powers granted ...
for the discharge of these duties are laid down in Chapters
VI, VII, VIII and XII." The latter two refer to Regional Arrangements
and Agencies, and International Trusteeship, respectively.)
Sir Alexander Cadogan of the United Kingdom agreed that the
Article was sufficiently broad to cover the problem. The United
States representative, Herschel Johnson, asserted that any potential
trouble area is rightly the concern of the Security Council.
International territory requires international guarantees, not
Big Power "trusteeship", he said. Alexandre Paroli of France
agreed that the Charter gives the Council broad powers, and
advised against restrictive interpretation of the Charter. When
the vote was taken, Australia abstained, and the other 10 members
approved the Trieste provisions of the Treaty.
Security Council's Responsibilities
- Under the Permanent Statute, the Security Council assures
the following: (1) the "integrity and independence" of the Free
Territory; (2) the protection of the "basic human rights of
the inhabitants"; and (3) the maintenance of internal order
and security. No armed forces, except those under the direction
of the Security Council, are to enter the Territory.
Governor. - The Governor, an international official responsible
only to the Security Council, shall be appointed by that body
after it has consulted the Yugoslav and Italian Governments;
he must not be a citizen of Yugoslavia, Italy, or the Free Territory;
his salary and allowances are to be paid by the U.N. The Security
Council may suspend or dismiss the Governor from office and
appoint his successor.
(Inserted here, without their biographic details, from pp.
62-63 of the same issue:
It was the United States view that the Governor
should not be a national of the Big Five. Some of those
mentioned for the Governorship were:
- Henry Guisan, retired Commander-in-Chief of the Swiss
- Lleras Camorgo, former President of Columbia;
- Alfred Emil Sandstrom, former justice of the Swedish Supreme
Court and then head of the Foreign Capital Control Office;
- Bengt G Nordenskjold, Lieutenant General and Chief of
the Royal Swedish Air Force;
- Leif Egeland, Minister of the Union of South Africa to
of the Governor Under the Provisional Régime. - The Governor
is to: (1) select members of the Provisional Council from among
the Territory's inhabitants after consulting Yugoslav and Italian
Governments; (2) submit reports to the Security Council regarding
the Territory's administration; and (3) appoint a Director of
Public Security who will administer the police force. Fifteen
thousand troops, 5,000 each from the United Kingdom, the United
States, and Yugoslavia, will be at the disposal of the Governor
for 90 days after he takes office, unless the Governor requests
the Security Council to continue their services for an additional
45 days. (Any of the Governments concerned can refuse the participation
of its forces upon informing the Security Council.)
of the Governor Under the Permanent Statute. - The Governor
is to: (1) prevent the entry into force of any legislative or
administrative measures he deems in contradiction of the Statute,
and refer the question to the Security Council, if the Popular
Assembly or Council of Government rejects his views; (2) appoint
members to the judiciary from candidates named by the Council
(or from other persons after consultation with that group);
(3) investigate and dismiss judges; (4) enforce: observance
of the Statute, the protection of basic human rights, and the
maintenance of public order and security; (5) in an emergency,
he may assume all control and take any measures he sees fit
to fulfill his duties; (6) submit an annual report to the Security
Council; and (7) appoint the Director of the Free Port.
internationalization of Trieste was one of the most difficult
questions debated by the Council of Foreign Ministers and the
Paris Peace Conference. No nation was satisfied with the compromise
solution which will now go into effect. For several weeks during
the sessions of the Peace Conference, the Soviet Union and the
Western Powers disagreed on basic concepts of internationalization:
(1) the U.S.S.R urged that the selection of the territory's
Governor be made unilaterally by Yugoslavia; (2) the representatives
of the Soviet Union and her satellites fought to prevent the
inclusion of guarantees of protection of the basic human rights
of freedom of religion, press, speech, assembly, and political
opinion; (3) The Soviets supported the Yugoslav demand that
the "international" territory be linked to Yugoslavia by trade,
customs union, and currency; (4) in reply to a plea by the Italian
Government that the area of the Free Territory be extended for
ethnic reasons to include dominantly Italian towns along the
coast of Venezia Giulia, Soviet Vice Foreign Minister Vishinsky
stated that, although his government would support the previous
commitments of the Council of Foreign Ministers, it was the
opinion of the U.S.S.R. that Yugoslavia was entitled to the
the whole of Istria, including Trieste; the Foreign Minister's
compromise, he said, represented a "minimum of justice".
compromise, arrived at with such difficulty, does not promise
to be the solution of the problem. The United Nations Military
Staff Committee has been involved in procedural debates for
more than a year. and progress in these and substantive matters
has been consistently blocked by the Soviet member. Present
indications are that the Military Staff Committee and the Security
Council may fail to make effective progress toward the organization
of a U.N. armed force for some time to come. This condition
seriously weakens the Italian Treaty, and creates bewilderment
and doubt regarding the intent of the principal signatories
concerned. In addition to this apparently impotent guarantee,
the territory is dependent on the sufferance of the permanent
members of the Security Council, who have obstructionist capabilities
through the veto.
following factors suggest that, unless the East and the West
can effect firm agreement on this and other problems before
the U.N., a de facto government subservient to the East may
well arise: (1) the present ineffectiveness of the U.N. as an
enforcement agent; (2) the attitude of the U.S.S.R. and Yugoslavia
as demonstrated at the peace conference; (3) the present unrest
in the territory; and (4) the withdrawal of Western troops,
when the Governor recommends such action.
Review, Issue 59, 3 Apr 47, pp. 17-24.
The Security Council and Trieste
Free Territory of Trieste, located at the head of the Adriatic
Sea, between Italy and Yugoslavia (See map on page 18.), has
an area of 310 square miles; and its population is approximately
350,000, of whom 260,000 reside in the city of Trieste and 90,000
in the outlying areas. Approximately 75 percent are Italians,
20 percent are Slovenes, and the rest are of other nationalities.
Territory's chief importance lies in its excellent port, which,
with its rail connections, forms the best gateway between Central
Europe and the Mediterranean. It is strategically important
because Soviet power would be extended to the upper Adriatic
and to the Italian frontier, if the Yugoslavs were able to establish
control over the Territory. Thus, Soviet control over Austria
and Czechoslovakia would be increased.
medieval times until the end of World War I, with only a brief
interruption in Napoleon's era, Trieste was under Austro-Hungarian
domination. From about 1870 until 1914, it grew to its present
position as a major port. The opening of the Suez Canal and
the increased industrialization of Central Europe played a large
part in its growth. Since Trieste was its best seaport, the
Austro-Hungarian Empire fostered its development in every possible
way. The Empire spent huge sums on railroads and port facilities,
set very low freight rates to and from Trieste, and heavily
subsidized its merchant marine.
Trieste was given to Italy in 1918, it never entirely regained
its former position in world trade. Since Italy had several
other good ports, there was little reason to subsidize Trieste.
Much of the Central European trade was shifted to North Sea
ports, even though in many cases Trieste was much nearer.
May 1945, Tito's forces first reached Trieste and overran most
of the Venezia Giulia region, making contact with Anglo-American
forces under General Harding. No detailed agreement had been
reached regarding what territory should be occupied by each
Army, and many clashes resulted. On 10 June the Duino agreement
was signed, dividing the Venezia Giulia region into two zones,
designated "A" and "B", and separated by the "Morgan Line".
Since the city of Trieste lay within Zone "A", the Yugoslav
forces withdrew. Zone "A" was placed under an Anglo-American
Military Government; and Zone "B", under a Yugoslav Military
Government. This arrangement is still in effect, and will remain
in force until after the Peace Treaty with Italy has been ratified.
Free Territory will not constitute a well-balanced self-sufficient
economic unit. Its chief industries are shipping, ship building,
ship repair, metallurgy, light machinery manufacturing, oil
refining, textiles, chemicals, and vegetable oil production.
Agriculture, fishing, and canning are carried on in the outlying
areas, but only a small proportion of the food necessary to
feed the population can be produced locally.
new government will face serious problems in reestablishing
its manufacturing and foreign trade on a sound basis, since
Trieste can exist only by trading her products and services
for food and raw materials. Reconstruction of war damage to
docks, factories, and railroads has lagged. There is considerable
unemployment and living costs are high. At present, Trieste
has insufficient goods and services available for export to
pay for needed imports. The situation, if not remedied, will
place the Free Territory in a very disadvantageous bargaining
International Commission of Inquiry was appointed by the Council
of Foreign Ministers in December 1946 to investigate the general
financial position of the Free Territory. It has completed its
study and has recommended: (1) a complete overhaul of the financial
system; and (2) extensive reforms in the administrative organization,
including dismissal of 30 to 40 percent of all public employees.
The Commission drew up an estimated budget for the fiscal year
1947-48. The British, American, and French delegates agreed
on a probable deficit of 4.6 billion lire ($20,400,000, at 225
lire to the dollar), while the Soviet delegate insisted that
it need not exceed 48 million lire ($124,000).
Western delegates estimated the foreign exchange deficit for
the first quarter of the 1947-48 fiscal year at $5,000,000 and
recommend that the Council of Foreign Ministers consider means
of providing credit. The Soviet delegate, however, insisted
that no deficit need occur. No agreement was reached on customs
Commission recommended that Trieste be granted favorable terms
for purchase of food, coal, crude oil, oil seeds, steel, ships,
and other necessary imports. It recommended that a Central Bank
be organized, and that a new local currency be issued to replace
existing currencies. It urged the early establishment of a strict
system of export and import licensing, as well as other measures
for the control of foreign exchange.
Commission pointed out the necessity of a study of freight rates
and cargo handling charges to insure: (1) that the port of Trieste
was in a good competitive position with respect to alternative
ports; and (2) that neighboring countries were not discriminating
in favor of other ports. The disputed points will be discussed
by the Council of Foreign Ministers.
is too early to predict how rapidly the economic recovery of
Trieste will progress, It will depend on: (1) general European
recovery; (2) the efficiency of the local government; (3) the
willingness of the United Nations and its individual members
to back up the Trieste agreement; and (4) the willingness of
all her neighbors to cooperate in the revival of Trieste's trade.
Council of Foreign Ministers, meeting at Paris in the summer
of 1946, agreed to the establishment of a "Free Territory of
Trieste" under the sponsorship of the Security Council of the
United Nations. The Territory was to be administered by a Governor,
appointed by the Security Council and responsible to it. The
Foreign Ministers drew up a Provisional Statute and a Permanent
Statute, which were incorporated into the Italian Peace Treaty.
(See Int. Rev. No. 53, page 16.) The terms of these statutes
will be binding on the government of the Territory, and on the
governments signing and ratifying the treaty.
International Commission - consisting of the United States,
the United Kingdom, France, the Soviet Union, Italy, Yugoslavia,
Czechoslovakia, Poland, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, and the
Free Territory - will deal with matters concerning the port,
within limitations prescribed by the Permanent Statute.
Assembly, popularly elected, will draw up a Constitution, which
must be consistent with the Permanent Statute. A Popular Assembly
will then be elected. This body will exercise the legislative
power and will elect the Council of Government, which will advise
and assist the Governor. Until the Permanent Statute is put
into effect, the Council will be appointed by the Governor.
The Judiciary will at first be appointed by the Governor, but
the Constitution may make other provisions for the appointment
Governor, who will be neither Italian, Yugoslav, nor a citizen
of a Big Four nation, is given broad powers by the Statutes.
He will appoint the administrative officials, such as the Chief
of Police and the Director of the Port. He also will appoint
a Provisional Council of Government. He may suspend laws which,
in his opinion, conflict with his responsibilities. In emergencies,
when, in his opinion, public order or the independence or integrity
of the Territory is threatened, he may take direct command of
the police force and "take appropriate measures". How wisely
and how resolutely these powers are used will depend of the
strength of character and political astuteness of the Governor.
The Governor has not yet been chosen, although several candidates
for the office have been proposed. (See Int. Rev. No. 53, pages
62 and 63.) It is hoped that he will be agreed upon soon so
that, as nearly as possible, he will be ready to take over the
government of the territory by the time the treaty is ratified.
Ratification should be completed in April or May.
Free Territory will have no army, navy, or air force of its
own. The Governor, upon assuming office, will have at his disposal
15,000 troops, 5,000 each to be furnished by the United States,
Great Britain, and Yugoslavia. Each of the three contingents
will be under its own commander, who, in turn, will report directly
to the Governor. Administrative and logistical matters for the
American and British contingents will be handled on a combined
command basis under a British commander, who will be responsible
to the Combined Chiefs of Staff. During the period from the
day of ratification until the Governor assumes office, any operations
undertaken would be in support of the Allied Military Government;
therefore, responsibilities assigned to the United States -
United Kingdom combined commander have been enlarged to include
operational command for the period mentioned.
Governor will determine whether the Free Territory will continue
to be divided into two zones. Ninety days after assuming office,
he will notify the United Nations Security Council whether or
not the troops, or a portion of them, are still needed. If needed,
the Governor may keep them as long as he sees fit. The over-all
duration of their stay is estimated at 4 to 12 months; but,
in any case, the troops must withdraw within 45 days of the
date he notifies the Security Council that they are no longer
the national contingents have been withdrawn, the government
will rely on a police force, recruited from the citizens of
the Territory, for the maintenance of law and order. A Gendarmerie
also will be selected to guard the borders and, when necessary,
to assist the police force.
remains a major trouble spot. It is a point where the strategic
interests of the Western Powers and the Soviet Union clash.
It is an area of bitter Italo-Slav rivalry. It is the chief
Mediterranean seaport of Central Europe and, therefore, greatly
desired by Eastern and Western Powers. The United Nations will
attempt to keep peace by means of a strong Governor, backed
throughout the critical period by a joint force. Economically,
Trieste may prosper if Europe prospers, or stagnate if its trade
is choked off by political maneuvering. As a key to future peace
or war, Trieste will bear close watching.
Review, Issue 83, 18 Sep 47, pp. 6-7.
World In Review
Trieste Governorship. - The Security Council subcommittee composed
of delegates from Australia, Columbia, and Poland, recommended,
on 10 September, that the following three candidates were the
"best suited for the post" of Governor of Trieste. They were:
August Buisseret, Belgium; Theodor Brock, Norway; and Joaquin
Fernandez, Chile. Since there is evidence that several members
of the Security Council are not in accord with this recommendation,
other names are expected to be added to this list. Continued
delay threatens Security Council control of the Free Territory
of Trieste, which came into being on 15 September with the deposit
of ratifications of the Italian peace treaty.
Troops Advance to New Border Ahead of Schedule
of the Italian peace treaty this week was marked by an outbreak
of rioting at Trieste and by a premature occupation of the Yugoslav-
Italian border by Yugoslav forces.
a three-Power agreement, United States and British troops were
to withdraw from the Morgan Line to the new boaundary at 1000
on 16 September, local time. However, at 1930 on 15 September,
a Yugoslav officer arrived at General Moore's headquarters and
stated categorically that the Yugoslavs were moving to the new
boundary by midnight, when the treaty became effective. Withdrawal
of British and American troops began about 2200 hours and was
completed by 0030 on 16 September without incident. Italian
troops, however, at last report had not moved up to the new
riots, reportedliy involving 50,000 persons, broke out in Trieste.
Local police were not able to cope with the situation. This
violence is believed to have no particular significance other
than being evidence of short tempers and deep-seated hatreds
on the part of both the Italian and Yugoslav portions of the
Italian peace treaty became effective on 15 September w2hen
the Four Powers' ratifications were deposited in Paris. By this
treaty, Yugoslavia receives a large portion of Venezia Giulia.
Trieste, however, and its immediate environs became a Free Territory
under United Nations supervision. Until such time as a Governor
is appointed, the Anglo-American and Yugoslav Military Governments
will continue to have jurisdiction over their respective zones
of the Free Territory.
Review, Issue 84, 25 Sep 47, pp. 10-11.
World In Review
The Situation in Trieste
to the Italian Peace Treaty, which became effective on 15 September,
Yugoslavia received a large portion of Venezia Giulia; but the
city of Trieste and its immediate environs became a Free Territory
under United Nations supervision. The treaty further provides
for appointment by the Security Council of a governor who is
to be responsible for peace and order in the Free Territory.
So far, however, no candidate has been found acceptable to both
the U.S.S.R. and the Western Powers. Until a governor is appointed,
the Anglo-American and Yugoslav Military Governments will continue
to have jurisdiction over their respective zones of the Free
Territory of Trieste.
the territory which Yugoslavia was to receive as specified in
the Peace Treaty, Allied troops prepared to evacuate. Because
of the Yugoslav's decision to ignore the turnover time on the
morning following deposit of the Treaty, it was decided to withdraw
all Allied troops immediately to the provisional Italo-Yugoslav
boundary to avoid risk of incidents. Disputes arose despite
this precaution, but Allied detachments stood their ground and,
on 16 September, handed over, without major incidents, only
that territory outlined by the new provisional boundary.
newspapers devoted most of their space to flagrant and abusive
attacks on United States Occupation Forces. In 10 specific charges,
official statements and other press articles accused United
States Occupation Forces of committing all sorts of attacks
and crimes prior to withdrawing from that part of Venezia Giulia
falling to Yugoslavia. The charges included maltreatment of
the populace, destruction of property, and plundering. All of
these charges have been refuted by the Commanding General of
United States Troops in Trieste. The situation at present is
under control, but not yet stabilized.
Yugoslav's actions appear to have been probing maneuvers to
determine just how far they could go to improve their position
by means of bluff and intimidation. The cool-headed and resolute
action by United States commanders and men thwarted these moves.
The Yugoslavs have no intention of starting a conflict with
the United States and United Kingdom Forces, it is believed,
but similar tactics may be employed in the future to develop
chaotic conditions. The Yugoslavs then would have a propaganda
weapon which they could use to claim that only through complete
annexation of the Free Territory of Trieste to Yugoslavia could
a stabilized situation be achieved.
Review, Issue 87, 16 Oct 47, pp. 19-20.
World In Review
Changes in Yugoslav Attitude in Trieste
Yugoslavs apparently have adopted a more conciliatory attitude
toward Italy, Great Britain, and the United States in discussing
problems relating to Trieste. In a meeting with Italian representatives
at Udine, Yugoslav representatives reportedly suggested a partition
of the Free Territory of Trieste. Under this reported proposal,
the Italians would receive the city of Trieste and the Free
Territory north of Capodistria (Zone A) and the Yugoslavs would
get the southern portion (Zone B) of the Free Territory. No
agreement was reached.
agreement has been reached, however, between the British commander
on the Austrian frontier and Marshal Tito, designed to prevent
border incidents and to effect a quick settlement if any occur.
Such incidents, in the past, have been a constant source of
irritation, diplomatic correspondence, and recriminations in
the Yugoslav press. A late reporet indicates that this proposal
of cooperation has been extended to both United States and British
forces in Trieste.
reported offer to the Italians is the second attempt by the
Yugoslavs to settle the Trieste controversy through bilateral
agreement. Previously, Tito offered to agree to Italian acquisition
of Trieste in exchange for Gorizia. If the present offer had
been accepted by the Italians and approved by the United Nations
Security Council, it would have meant the end of the Free Territory
and the withdrawal of American and British troops. Yugoslav
pressure, bluff, and intimidation completely failed during the
confused situation of 15 September. (See Int. Rev. No. 83, page
6.) Any such tactics employed in the future would be ineffective
as long as American and British troops remain. Such pressure,
as well as infiltration and agitation, might have greater chances
of success against Italian forces. Both Yugoslav proposals are
examples of the Yugoslavs' ability to shift tactics and adopt
a conciliatory attitude in one sector while continuing, or even
increasing, their pressure in others.
Review, Issue 92, 20 Nov 47, pp. 25-29.
The Problem of Trieste
Situation There Now Relatively Calm, but Most of the
Important Questions Concerning Future of Area Remain Unsettled.
Trieste area (For a map of this area, see Int. Rev. No. 59,
page 18.) has been a continuous source of controversy between
the Western Powers and the Soviet Union, and between Italy and
Yugoslavia, since the Italian Peace Treaty was drafted. Yugoslav
efforts to gain control of the territory reached a climax on
ratification day, last 15 September, when Yugoslav troops demanded
entry into the Anglo-American Zone. After this attempted coup
failed the Yugoslavs seemed to become more cooperative toward
the local United States and British authorities. Nevertheless,
during the two months since ratification, the provisions of
the Italian Treaty concerning Trieste have remained essentially
unfulfilled. The Trieste situation is now outwardly calm, but
the basic conflicts have not been resolved, and further trouble
can be expected.
Before Ratification Day
period between 10 February, when the Peace Treaty with Italy
was signed, and 15 September, when final ratification occurred,
was marked by continued Italo-Slav bitterness occasionally flaring
into violence. The constant friction between Anglo-American
and Yugoslav forces was reflected in several cases of detention
of Allied personnel by the Yugoslavs. These individuals were
eventually released unharmed, but the episodes did nothing to
improve the atmosphere between the Western Powers and Yugoslavia.
Day (See Int. Rev. No. 84, page 11.)
peace treaty with Italy became effective at midnight last 15-16
September. Yugoslav troops north of Trieste moved rapidly into
the territory awarded to Yugoslavia by the treaty. They also
attempted to enter the Anglo-American Zone of the Free Territory
(See Int. Rev. No. 83, page 6.), but were turned back by a flat
refusal of the United States commander. This Yugoslav action
has been interpreted as an attempt to seize control of part
or all of the Anglo-American Zone by a bloodless coup.
next day (16 September), riots involving several thousands of
persons broke out, and a number of Trieste residents were killed
or injured. Local police were unable to bring the situation
under control until that evening.
Actions After Ratification Day
following the incidents of 15-16 September, there were Communist-inspired
strikes of very brief duration within the Territory, and abusive
attacks on United States Occupation Forces were made in the
Yugoslav press. This propaganda included charges that United
States forces: (1) mistreated the populace; (2) destroyed property;
and (3) looted before withdrawing from that part of Venezia
Giulia which the treaty ceded to Yugoslavia. United States military
authorities were also accused of seizing administrative and
executive power in the Free Territory of Trieste, a "gross violation"
of the treaty. In less than a week, however, the name-calling
had subsided, and an era of apparent Yugoslav friendliness began.
in Yugoslav Attitude (See Int. Rev. No. 87, page 19.)
the failure of the attempted coup and the dwindling of their
propaganda, the Yugoslavs changed their tactics, adopting an
attitude of apparent friendliness and conciliation. Border incidents
decreased, and Anglo-American personnel detained by the Yugoslavs
for alleged border violations were released speedily. Yugoslav
authorities made overtures for: (1) cooperation on interzonal
problems; (2) fraternization among troops; and (3) settlement
of border incidents. Communist-dominated organizations for the
first time offered to participate in the governmental bodies.
proposals were not accepted by United States and British authorities
because: (1) several of the proposals were apparently aimed
at uniting the zones which, for economic reasons, is presently
not feasible; (2) commitments made at this time would tend to
limit the freedom of action of the future Governor; and (3)
Communist offers to cooperate are under suspicion, since the
Communists are not believed to have abandoned their ultimate
goal of obtaining control of the whole Territory.
Yugoslav Diplomatic Maneuvers
resumed her aggressive tactics on the Trieste question before
the United Nations Security Council on 8 November. A note was
filed with the Council accusing the United States and Great
Britain of "unjustified and hostile action" in Trieste and of
at least six "gross violations" of the Italian Treaty. The note
proposed the establishment of a United States - British - Yugoslav
military government headquarters, to "consider all questions
relating to the Free Territory of Trieste as a unity." This
proposal ignores various provisions of the treaty relating to
the administration of the Free Territory, pending assumption
of office by the Governor.
Not Yet Selected
problems of choosing a Governor for the Free Territory of Trieste
has not yet been solved by the U.N. Security Council. For nine
months a subcommittee of the Council has been unable to agree
on a man for the post, although various names have been proposed.
The chief difficulty has been the Soviet Union's refusal to
agree to the appointment of any "strong" candidate. The Western
Powers, on the other hand, have refused to endorse any man of
doubtful ability or one likely to succumb to Soviet pressure.
The treaty endows the Governor with wide powers; and, until
he is chosen, the Territory is to be administered "by the Allied
military commands within their respective Zones." By the terms
of the treaty, the continuation of the present bizonal system
is mandatory until a Governor is installed. Furthermore, neither
the Permanent Statute nor the autonomous currency system of
the Free Territory can come into force until the Governor has
situation within Trieste is relatively peaceful at present,
but most of the important problems concerning the area remain
unsettled. The basic tensions which still exist in Trieste are
such that local incidents, similar to those which occurred on
ratification day, could precipitate war. However, neither the
Yugoslavs nor the Soviets, it is believed, are yet ready to
provoke such an armed conflict.
is one of the places in Europe where the interests of East and
west clash most violently. The Soviets would like nothing better
than an Anglo-American indication of weariness with the Trieste
problem. Any intimation that United States - British firmness
in Trieste is only temporary would tend to encourage Soviet
efforts in Greece, Austria, and other troubled regions, and
would place the United States at a disadvantage at the Council
of Foreign Ministers. Anglo-American retrenchment might lend
impetus to Soviet strategic plans.
Review, Issue 99, 15 Jan 48, p. 8.
World In Review
Failure of the Italian and Yugoslav governments to agree upon
a candidate for the governorship of Trieste will have its repercussions
at the U.N. The question will now be returned to the Security
Council for attempted settlement by the United States, Great
Britain, and the U.S.S.R.
Review, Issue 102, 5 Feb 48, pp. 14-15.
World In Review
Economic Problems in the Free Territory of Trieste
of some capital and industrial interests by the Italians from
the United States - United Kingdom zone of the Free Territory
of Trieste has aggravated the economic problem created by the
establishment of the Free Territory. The withdrawal is understandable
caution on the part of the Italians as a result of the tense
conditions in the Yugoslav zone of the Free Territory are more
critical than in the United States - United Kingdom zone. Yugoslav
action in damaging and removing industrial and agricultural
equipment has greatly aggravated already deteriorating conditions.
The United States Political Advisor in Trieste suggests that
the Yugoslavs denuded their zone in the belief that they were
creating problems for the future governor, not for themselves.
They expected that their responsibility would end before their
actions took full effect.
Yugoslavs' actions, it is believed, was another part of their
plan to gain domination of the entire Free Territory by any
means. In this case, creation of economic chaos was the chosen
weapon. Yugoslav policy has boomeranged because of (1) failure
of the Security Council to appoint a Governor; and (2) refusal
of the United States to allow integration of the zones prior
to this appointment.
Review, Issue 104, 19 Feb 48, pp. 54, 57-59.
The Situation in the Balkans, Trieste, Greece, and Turkey
Yugoslavia, Albania, Bulgaria, Rumania, and Hungary
Already Completely Subservient to the Soviet Union.
the policies of the U.S.S.R. are already exerting an ever increasing
influence on the activities of other nations, nowhere is this
influence stronger than in the Balkans and contiguous areas.
Policy in Trieste
port of Trieste has become an important part of the post-war
territorial demands made by Yugoslavia on Italy. Soviet Foreign
Minister Molotov was insistent at the peace treaty conferences
that this demand be implemented. The United States and the United
Kingdom were, however, equally as emphatic in their objections
to this particular transfer. The resultant compromise created
the Free Territory of Trieste. Losing their initial battle for
immediate possession, the Soviets, through the Yugoslavs opened
a campaign, short of war, for ultimate seizure of control of
the Free Territory.
Free Territory of Trieste, which came into existence on 15 September
1947, the effective date of the Italian Peace Treaty, includes
an area of 300 square miles. The Treaty provides for a government
consisting of: a Governor, appointed by the Security Council;
a Council of Government, selected by the Governor; a popularly
elected Assembly; and the Judiciary. A Constitution, created
by the people of the Territory, is to become the foundation
of the government. The Treaty, however, further provides that,
until a Governor is appointed, the Free Territory will continue
to be administered by the Allied military commands within their
respective zones. Because of Italo-Slav bitterness and the strategic
importance of the area, and because of the potentialities of
the position of Governor, the Security Council has been unable
to agree on a man acceptable to both the Western Powers and
a result, the United States, United Kingdom, and Yugoslavia
each maintains a force of 5,000 in its zone of the Territory
-- the United States - United Kingdom zones being merged. This
force, provided for in the Treaty, will remain until 90 days
after the appointment of the Governor. Only if the Governor
so requests may the troops be retained longer.
Yugoslavs have administered their zone in typical police-state
fashion. Their removal of industrial equipment from their zone
has made economic conditions increasingly intolerable. Conditions
in the United States - United Kingdom zone are good in comparison
with those in the Yugoslav area. Some progress has been made
and relative order maintained in spite of obvious difficulties
and a persistent campaign waged by the Yugoslavs to bring discredit
on the military government of the United States and the United
the Free Territory will long remain a political trouble spot
is assumed. That it will face increasing economic problems also
is probable. It is extremely unlikely that the U.N. Security
Council can agree on a Governor in the foreseeable future. ...
Review, Issue 106, 4 Mar 48, pp. 13-14.
World in Review
Possible Effect on Trieste of Italian Elections
Italian elections in April will be of great importance to the
administration of the United States - United Kingdom Zone of
the Free Territory of Trieste. If the Italian elections result
in a government along the lines of the present coalition, with
the Communists excluded, then present conditions need not be
materially altered in Zone "A" of the Free Territory, and Western
adminstration can at least work freely toward improvement there.
Such a result in the elections also would give increased encouragement
to all non-Communist elements of the population. This encouragement
would be reflected in more effective cooperation with the Anglo-American
administration in Trieste.
however, the Communist - Left Wing Socialist combination gets
40 percent of the votes in Italy, as a United States official
in Rome predicts, it will have gained a plurality. In that case,
it will be extremely difficult to keep the Communists out of
a coalition Italian Government. Furthermore, such Communist
participation in the Government possibly could be followed by
ultimate seizure of absolute control by the Communists along
the line followed in Czechoslovakia. In either case, it can
be expected that the Communists will use every available device
to embarrass the United States - United Kingdom leadership in
Zone "A" of the Free Territory.
the Communist - Left Wing Socialist combination should gain
sufficient votes in the election to force inclusion of Communists
in a position of leadership in the new Government, they probably
would follow one of three courses of action:
- Request the U.N. Security Council to accept a candidate for
Governor of the Free Territory mutually agreeable to themselves
and Tito of Yugoslavia.
b. - Request the Security Council to accept division of the
Free Territory between Italy and Yugoslavia. If either one of
these requests was accepted, the United States - United Kingdom
military forces would, necessarily, be withdrawn from the area.
Such an eventuality is a major goal of Moscow.
c. - In the event of failure of a Communist-dominated Government
of Italy to succeed in either one of these courses, the Communists
would then use every opportunity to defeat Western efforts in
the Free Territory of Trieste. Economic ruin, greater political
unrest, and possible Communist domination would result unless
the United States were willing to increase tremendously its
commitments in Zone "A" of the Free Territory. The circumstances
that would allow the Yugoslavs and a Communist-dominated Italian
Government to bring chaos in Zone "A" are due to:
(1) present dependence of the Trieste economy to Italian sources
of food, power, communications, financial enterprises, currency,
(2) the well-known bitterness between Yugoslavs and Italians
in the Free Territory.
Review, Issue 109, 25 Mar 45, pp. 15-16.
World In Review
Reaction to Proposed Return of Trieste to Italy
United States, the United Kingdom, and France announced, on
20 March, that they favored placing the Free Territory of Trieste
once more under Italian sovereignty. The joint announcement
stated that the decision to recommend return of the Territory
to Italy was forced by: (1) Inability of the U. N. Security
Council to agree on a Governor; and (2) Yugoslavia's action
in virtually incorporating her zone into the Yugoslav national
structure, contrary to the desire expressed by the Powers to
give an independent and democratic status to the Territory.
to first reports from Italy, the announcement was received with
"unbounded joy" throughout that country, and all comment indicated
that the proposal will add considerable strength to the parties
opposing the Leftist bloc. Communists in Italy were generally
confused and concerned. Communist leader Palmiro Togliatti ridiculed
the move as "a cheap election maneuver and an attempt to bring
Italy into the war bloc". Pemier Alcide de Gasperi challenged
Togliatti to try to persuade the Soviet Union to agree to the
announcement was greeted with wild rejoicing by the Italian
element of the Trieste population. Although minor clashes were
reported, the situation as a whole was surprisingly orderly.
23 March, neither the Soviet Union nor Yugoslavia had officially
reacted to the proposal. Both Radio Moscow and Radio Belgrade,
however, denounced the proposal as a "vulgar eloection maneuver",
initiated behind the back of the Soviet Union. The Yugoslav
Ambassador to the United States, in a formal statement, bitterly
castigated the suggestion, alleging that the United States had
refused to allow Italy to accept an offer made by Tito in November
1946 involving the return of the city of Trieste to Italy. The
Communist press throughout Europe followed the Radio Moscow
line in denouncing the proposal as an imperialistic attempt
to influence the Italian election.
comment from non-Communist centers agreed that the move by the
United States, the United Kingdom, and France was a shrewd and
effective maneuver in the battle for Italy, and that it definitely
places Moscow in a difficult position. In view of the importance
of the issue, the Kremlin, it is believed, will attempt to neutralize
the move, possibly by some counter-proposal which the Soviets
hope will be equally or more attractive to the Italians.
Review, Issue 110, 1 Apr 48, p. 5.
Current Communist Propaganda
Europe. - The propaganda machinery of the Soviet Satellite States
has reacted voluminously and violently to the United States-British-French
proposal that Trieste be returned to Italy. The proposal is
described as "a new imperialistic attack against the peace front"
and "an aggressive act intended to sow trouble in international
relations". The Western Powers are accused of (1) "General revisionism";
(2) violating the Italian Peace Treaty; (3) unwarranted provocation
against Yugoslavia and her friends; and (4) attempting to influence
the coming Italian elections.
Review, Issue 113, 22 Apr 48, pp. 15-17.
World In Review
Capabilities of the Yugoslav Armed Forces
the Soviets decide to take strong action in either Italy or
Greece, their most potent Satellite, Yugoslavia, probably will
occupy the center of the stage.
the last six months, there has been little change in the over-all
strength or disposition of major military units in Yugoslavia.
(See Int. Rev. No. 105, page 30.) The 240,000 ground troops
are still organized into 6 operational armies located as follows:
First in Nis; Second in Zagreb; Third in Novi Sad; Fourth in
Ljubljana; Fifth in Skoplje; and Sixth in Sarajevo. Of a total
of 33 divisions, 4 are armored. Yugoslav Armed Forces are receiving
increasing supplies of Soviet equipment. At present, approximately
50 percont of the artillery, 70 percent of the 550 tanks, and
50 percent of the automatic weapons and mortars are of the World
War II Soviet type. For instance, 300 artillery pieces from
Soviet supplies in Bulgaria arrived in Yugoslavia this year.
Most of these went to the Fifth Army. Shortage of motor transport
and weakness in service elements are two of the Army's greatest
Yugoslavs have disposed what appears to be their most effective
army, the Fourth, to face Trieste and Italy.. The disposition
of this army, composed of seven infantry and one armored divisions,
has remained relatively unchanged for the last six months, except
for interior shifts. The Fourth Army has been restored to its
normal strength of approximately 50,000 after having been depleted
for 2 months by the release of several age groups. The most
interesting activity within the Fourth Army's area has been
the training methods of an unidentified division. One brigade
at a time, this division has been conducting rail-movement exercises
and assault maneuvers near strategic points of the Italian border.
In their Zone of the Free Territory of Trieste, the Yugoslave
have disposed 3 infantry battalions, 3 armored infantry battalions,
1 armored battalion, and 3 artillery battalions - with a total
strength of approximately 5,000 men. There have been no significant
movements in northwest Yugoslavia since the proposal to return
Trieste to Italy.
the mission of the Fourth Army for the last six months has been
defensive and pseudo-offensive - that is, poised to take advantage
of any opportunity and to conduct a "war of nerves". Although
there has been no indication that the Fourth Army's mission
is to be changed, yet, with the situation in Italy about to
reach a decisive state, such may happen.
the Soviets decided to open a general offensive, this Army undoubtedly
would be sent into Trieste and Italy. If the Communists were
to stage a coup in Italy, they might possibly invite the Yugoslavs
to assist in the destruction of "fascism" and the maintenance
of their government, either as regular forces or as guerrilla
either case, the Yugoslav Fourth Army, reinforced by the Second
Army, could overwhelm United States forces in Trieste and overrun
northern Italy within two weeks, it is believed. The Yugoslavs
in Trieste occupy the strategic terrain, and the United States
position could not be maintained under present circumstances.
In northern Italy, the terrain would offer no impediments to
a Yugoslav advance against resistance offered by a maximum of
five widely disposed Italian infantry divisions.
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