Archive for April 17th, 2008

Many of us remember the Yugo’s that were sold here in the U.S. some years back.  Priced at $3,990, they were Yugoslavia’s attempt to market cheap “cars-for-everyman” in the States.  Needless to say, it wasn’t a very successful venture.  I’ve often wondered if any driveable examples still exist in the country.

On April 17, 1941, Yugoslavia signed an armistice and surrendered to the German Army.  But the surrender implies a war, and the war implies a catalyst, so let’s step back in time just a bit…about a month is all we’ll need as events moved very, very quickly.

On March 25, 1941, Yugoslavia’s Prince Paul signed the Tripartite Pact, raising the ire of anti-German elements in both the country and, more importantly, the Yugoslavian Army.  Two days later, Paul was overthrown in a coup and replaced by a military general.

German dictator Adolf Hitler came unhinged and ordered Belgrade levelled.  On April 6, 1941, Germany (with some help from Tripartite fellows Italy and Hungary) invaded Yugoslavia.  On April 8, 1941, Hitler got his wish and Belgrade was heavily bombed by the Luftwaffe.  By the 17th, surrender documents had been signed and organized resistance had ended.

Yugoslavia was carved up and split among Germany, Italy, Hungary, and Bulgaria.  It wasn’t until 1946 that a “new” Yugoslavia, comprised of a half-dozen provinces, was created.

Recommended Activity: Spend the entire day looking for a Yugo on the street.  Any color will do.  A Yugo in a junkyard does not count.  It must be moving…under its OWN power.

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