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1

Thursday, January 3rd 2019, 7:37pm

Yugoslav News and Events 1949

Belgrade, Dunavsko Brodgradiliste, Saturday, 1 January 1949

His Highness Prince Andrew stood at the edge of the dry dock over which clambered workmen making ready to lay the keel of Royal Yugoslav Navy’s latest river vessel. The biting cold wind that blew across the freezing Danube cut to the soul. He was not in a happy mood.

“It is time you take up public duties they said. Then why am I here? Tomislav is busy in Bar, overseeing the start of real warships. What do I get to do? Lend royal approval to the keel-laying of a river tug! And Petar, where does anyone think he is?”

The dock’s crane was attached to the first large piece of steel and carefully lifted from the side of the dock and gingerly placed upon the keel blocks were the River Tug A would take shape in the next several months. The crowd responded with cheers and shouts of “One Flag, One King, One Nation”…

Andrew dutifully acknowledged the acclamation of those assembled. He remained a few minutes more at the side of the dock before retreating into the comparative warmth of the limousine that would return him to his lodgings.

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Thursday, January 3rd 2019, 7:40pm

Delivery Status Report, 31 March 1949

Delivery Status Report, 31 March 1949

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 -:- 600
M32 Hand Grenade -:- 240,000
Small Arms Ammunition -:- 21,000,000
Artillery Ammunition -:- 315,000


Domestic Vehicle Production for Royal Yugoslav Army

Zastava M40 0.25-ton Truck -:- 150
Zastava M41 1.5-ton Truck -:- 600
Novi Sad M44 3-ton Truck -:- 1,010
Novi Sad M46 Artillery Tractor -:- 450
M47 Half Track Infantry Carrier -:- 36
M48 Medium Tank -:- 15


Aircraft Deliveries

Soko Strsljen -:- 15
Utva Lasta -:- 12

3

Saturday, January 12th 2019, 1:12am

Outside Belgrade, “The Little House”, Friday, 7 January 1949

The Baranovs has spent a week and more visiting the cities and the countryside of Yugoslavia under the watchful eye of their guide, Adem Čejvan, King Petar’s equerry. Each in their own way had found the contrasts charming, challenging, and informative. Xenia seemed enthralled by the customs of various people united under the leadership of ‘her’ Petar; her mother and father recognised how far the country had come in its march towards modernity, as well as how far it had yet to go.

Now they were due to return to Paris, where Xenia would continue her studies; but before departing they had returned to the dacha of the Queen Mother to observe Christmas in a family mode. The table groaned under the weight of delicacies spread upon it, and Queen Maria grew slightly annoyed at the tardiness of her royal son in arriving at it. She nodded her head in Čejvan’s direction, who promised to fetch the king, and Xenia, from their seats near the fireplace. He returned a few moments later and whispered in Queen Maria’s ear. She smiled and said quietly, “Of course!”

The elder Baranovs, and the rest of the gathered family, were somewhat mystified, but were relieved when the King and Xenia entered, arm in arm.

Petar cleared his throat, took a deep breath, and announced. “I have asked Mademoiselle Xenia to be my wife; and she has consented.”

Olga Baranova, Xenia’s mother rose from her chair to embrace her child and her future son-in-law. Petar Baranov stood deliberately and he too move to congratulate the happy couple, though concern furrowed his brow. The Queen Mother beamed. There was a round of applause from the small company assembled. Petar and Xenia seemed to care only for each other.

4

Thursday, January 17th 2019, 3:24am

Belgrade, The Prime Minister’s Residence, Saturday, 8 January 1949

Nikola Karasec was awakened by his valet mid-morning. “A call from the Palace Excellency… it is very important”.

The Prime Minister roused himself – the Christmas celebrations of the prior evening had lasted long into the night – and he deliberately made his way to the telephone; Karasec was not a young man. He picked up the receiver. “Karasec here.”

Hearing the King’s voice he brought himself to attention and listened intently as King Petar relayed the news of his engagement. A huge smile broke across his face but his voice remained calm and even.

“Your Majesty, this is most wonderful news. Please accept my congratulations, and those of your ministers, on this most felicitous event in this season of joy. Have I your permission to prepare a formal announcement for the nation?”

The conversation lasted a few moments more and concluded most cordially. Only when he had replaced the telephone receiver did Karasec give out a whoop of satisfaction. Not only would the question of succession be settled, but the lustre of linking the house of Romanov with that of Karadoredevic could only add to the prestige of the monarchy. His carefully laid plans had come to fruition.