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41

Thursday, December 7th 2017, 3:16pm

Belgrade, The White Palace, Friday, 25 June 1948

King Aleksandr had called the morning’s meeting with his military chiefs to discuss the implications of the recent German decision to permit the sale of additional armaments to Yugoslavia. Of the long list of requests submitted to the German foreign office only two, for the supply of Arado bomber aircraft and Junkers jet engines, had been approved, and insofar as the bombers were concerned, in far smaller numbers that what was sought.

Major-General Lav Rupnik spoke to the issue. “Sire, the Germans have at least reversed themselves to a degree; our last request was completely rejected. It may be half-a-loaf, but it is better than none.”

The King paused before answering. To Rupnik and the others present Aleksandr appeared tired; the king was not yet sixty years of age but he appeared far older – the legacy of an illness of forty years ago matched with the arduous years of the Great War. “Do you think it possible that the Germans will eventually accede to our full request?”

“Sire, that depends in large part on Germany’s future relations with Italy, a question which falls to Furlan rather than to me.”

Closing his eyes the King considered the way forward. The long political struggle to liberate the Occupied Territories had worn him out, and a small but growing number of his advisors were urging him to consider military options. These, however, had never endured the hardship of war, and the patience that such hardships can engender. At the moment, Aleksandr’s greatest concern was for the future of the House of Karađorđević – according to his physicians he was already living on borrowed time.

“As you say, half-a-loaf… For the moment, let us be content.”

42

Monday, December 18th 2017, 12:46am

Yugoslav News and Events, July 1948

Novosti News Service, Bar, Thursday, 1 July 1948

The Adriatic Shipyards resounded to the sound of pneumatic hammers on steel as keels were laid for the latest ships to be built for the Royal Yugoslav Navy. The slipways saw keels for two additional ammunition auxiliaries – Auxiliary C and Auxiliary D laid down and work on two more amphibious vessels – Landing Ship E and Landing Ship F – was begun. Prince Tomislav represented the Crown at the ceremonies marking the commencement of construction, leading some to speculate on the cause for the absence of the Crown Prince.

43

Monday, December 18th 2017, 12:48am

Delivery Status Report, 30 September 1948

Domestic Ground Ordnance Production

M43 Service Rifle -:- 39,000
M47 GP Machinegun -:- 1,800
M39 Aircraft Machinegun -:- 150
M37 Tank Machinegun -:- 90
M47 Recoilless Gun -:- 500
M32 Hand Grenade -:- 420,000
Small Arms Ammunition -:- 33,000,000
Artillery Ammunition -:- 450,000


Domestic Vehicle Production for Royal Yugoslav Army

Zastava M40 0.25-ton Truck -:- 150
Zastava M41 1.5-ton Truck -:- 750
Novi Sad M44 3-ton Truck -:- 1,010
Novi Sad M46 Artillery Tractor -:- 450
AT.47 Tank Destroyer -:- 36
Orkan Armoured Reconnaissance Vehicle -:- 36
M47 Half Track Infantry Carrier -:- 75


Aircraft Deliveries

Soko Orao -:- 30
Type 222 Vihor -:- 15
Type 224 Galeb -:- 18
Utva Lasta -:- 12

44

Thursday, December 28th 2017, 1:49am

Novosti News Service, Belgrade, Tuesday, 6 July 1948

The nation lies devastated and in sorrow following the announcement this morning of the death of His Majesty King Aleksandr following a brief illness. Addressing the nation Crown Prince Petar spoke movingly of his late father’s leadership of the nation through the time of the Great War and the contributions he made to the development of the kingdom in the present era. Details of the expected state funeral are anticipated.

OOC: If any special representatives are being sent to attend the funeral, please advise at the earliest convenience.

45

Thursday, December 28th 2017, 2:15am

The French government expresses their deep condolences to the Yugoslavian people and the family of King Aleksandr. (Both French President Quinten Clemenceau and Prime Minister Edmond Michelet will make plans to attend funeral.)

The government of the Russian Federation similarly expresses their condolences. (Both President Mikhail Fyodorov and Chairman of the Government Mikhail Sergetov will attend the funeral.)

Bulgaria dittos all of the above and will be represented by Tsar Boris III.

Chile and Ireland send messages of condolence and will be represented by their respective ambassadors.

46

Thursday, December 28th 2017, 10:14am

The governments of Atlantis, Colombia, Turkey and the Republic of Byzantium all send their heartfelt condolences.

47

Thursday, December 28th 2017, 10:26am

The governments of Great Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands and Argentina express their condolences to the people of Yugoslavia and the Royal Family.

British Prime Minister Clement Attlee will attend the funeral, as will the Belgian Prime Minister Paul-Henri Spaak and the Dutch Prime Minister Eduard Land.
Argentina's Ambassador will represent his nation.

48

Tuesday, January 2nd 2018, 11:32am

The government and the imperial family of the Chinese Empire express their deep condolences to the people of Yugoslavia and the Royal Family. Unfortunately, due to the great distance, only the chinese ambassador Tran Phu Ko will attend the funeral and represent his nation.

49

Wednesday, January 3rd 2018, 2:43am

Transradio Press Service, Belgrade, Tuesday, 13 July 1948

“This is Robert Trout, reporting from Belgrade, Yugoslavia:”

“This city, normally bustling and festive, lies sombre and disconsolate, as Yugoslavs of all walks of life gather to say a final farewell to their beloved monarch, King Alexander. Authorities estimate that nearly five hundred thousand mourners will line the route that leads from the White Palace, residence of the Kings of Yugoslavia, to St. Georges Church in Topola, the burial place of the Ducal and Royal Family; built on the spot where Karađorđe was chosen as the leader of the first Serbian uprising against the Ottoman Empire in 1804.”

“From where I stand I can now see the leading element of the honour guard emerging from the grounds of the Palace, followed by the horse-drawn caisson bearing the body of the late King. A hush falls over the crowd as the cortege gets underway, punctuated by muffled drums. Following immediately behind the caisson on foot are Crown Prince Petar and his brothers, Prince Tomislav and Prince Andrew. In turn they are followed by carriages carrying the many foreign visitors – including Tsar Boris of Bulgaria, Chancellor Adenauer of Germany, Prime Minister Atlee of Great Britain, President Clemenceau of France, President Fyodorov of the Russian Federation, Prime Minister Spaak of Belgium, and Prime Minister Land of the Netherlands.”

“As the caisson bearing the King’s body makes it way down the boulevard the crowd seems to undulate as men and women bow in paying last respects to their beloved monarch – some dropping to their knees in prayer. In the wake of the carriages bearing the heads of state and government are car-after-car of other important visitors – the diplomatic corps, half of Europe’s surviving aristocracy, and many others.”

50

Monday, January 15th 2018, 12:23am

Belgrade, The While Palace, Tuesday, 20 July 1948

“Sire, it is imperative that you marry…”

Prince Paul, King Petar’s cousin, and nearest male relative, had made this point over the last several days with increasing forcefulness.

“That is easy for you to say,” the young king answered. His cousin had married some twenty-five years earlier, an arrangement for political considerations; the rumours of his escapades at Oxford that had come to the King’s ear during his own time there, coloured his views of the Prince’s domestic ‘happiness’.

“I must agree with His Highness,” said Prime Minister Nikola Karasec. Karasec had been King Alexander’s political manager in welding the disparate Serbs, Croats, Bosnians, Montenegrins, and Albanians into the modern parliamentary state that was modern-day Yugoslavia. “The dynasty is the principal pillar of the state – without the monarchy it is quite possible that Your Majesty’s subjects might each go their own way, even without external interference.”

Karasec referred, of course, to Italy. Despite their own internal squabbles Italians could agree that further dismemberment of the Yugoslav state was desirable. Thankfully the other European powers would look very unfavourably on any overt Italian actions in that direction, but the competing claims of Serbs and Croats, Orthodox and Catholic – to say nothing of the Bosnian Muslims – required a firm hand to navigate the course ahead.

The new king could not dismiss the Prime Minister’s logic as easily as he could the Prince’s. “Should I announce a grand ball and have Cinderella arrive in a pumpkin coach?” His sarcasm was biting – and while he understood his duty his father was dead barely two weeks. “Such things are not merely a matter of state but of the heart – and we are not yet ready to throw one over for the other; grant me time to mourn.”