1944.01.15_Canberra_Times – Yugoslavia tie up 36 Axis divisions_p01

„… The Canberra Times, Saturday 15 January 1944, page 1
YUGOSLAVS TIE UP 36 AXIS DIVISIONS
Partisiao Army Grows To Four Hundred Thousand
LONDON, Friday.
Thirty-six German and satellite divisions are at present doing their utmost on seven fronts to crush partisan armies, revealed Lisut-Colonal Vladimir Dedier. who has been attached to General Tito’s staff for 2ʌ years and is now recuperating in Cairo from severe head injuries caus. ed by a mortar blast.
He said that this is Hitler’s third attempt in XI months. More German divisions are engaged in Yugoslavia than in any other front except Russia. Although the partisans are lighting without heavy artillery, antiaircraft guns and tanka, “we carried our offensive even against German main bases/’
“On January 1 last.” said Col. Dedier. “we broke through the German defences at Banjaluka, which is the Headquarters of the Second (German Armoured Army Corps.” This German base has been liquidated and 2.000 Germans killed and several hundreds captured. When the task was accomplished the Partisans withdrew, as the town could not be defended against new German tank divisions. This victory was achieved entirely by armament captured from the enemy.
“When the people rose three years ago against Hitler, only every tenth man had a shot gun or out-date rifle. There were many fighting women In the front line in the assault against Banjaluka, some of whom were expert with hand grenades. Women also hold certain commands.
“Our liberated territory is now’ over half of Yugoslavia.” he continued. “Our army has increased from 100.000 to 300.000. Our peoples are Serbs, Crc’.ts. Macedonians and Mon-tenegrins.
‘At the finish of our war of Independence we will form a free de-mocratic federal state in accordance with the Atlantic Charter, allowing all free people the right to choose their own form of government at free elections. For this principle our people spilled rivers of blood and are still fighting to-day.”
…“