Relations between Yugoslavia and NATO 1951–1958 Cover Image
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Jugoslavija i NATO 1951–1958.
Relations between Yugoslavia and NATO 1951–1958

Author(s): Bojan B. Dimitrijević
Subject(s): Diplomatic history, Political history, Post-War period (1950 - 1989), History of Communism, Cold-War History
Published by: Institut za noviju istoriju Srbije
Keywords: Yugoslavia; NATO; Military Assistance Pact (MAP); Mutual Defence Aid Programme (MDAP)
Summary/Abstract: The Tito-Stalin controversy came into the open with the expulsion of the Co mmunist Party of Yugoslavia from the Communist Information Bureau (Cominform) in June 1948. After the first suspicions in the background of the 1948 confl ict, the West started to realise that it should be useful to support the Yugoslavs, fi rst of all, in the military potentials. The Policy Planning Staff of the US Department of State had been swift to explore the opportunities now opening up to sow maximum discord in this part of the Communist world. It has been remarked by the US offi cials that Yugoslavia is of the direct importance to the security of the United States. As a result of this remark, it was decided that military and economic aid should be extended to Yugoslavia to increase its potentials to defend against Soviet threat. The Military Assistance Pact (MAP) was fi nally signed between the officials of the Yugoslav and the US governments in Belgrade on 14 November 1951. According to this Pact, Yugoslavia was introduced in the framework of the Mutual Defence Aid Programme (MDAP). Yugoslav orders for equipment should have been fulfi lled from the United States, Great Britain and France. The Presidium of the Yugoslav Parliament ratified MAP on 9 January 1952. Those first programmes were intended to fill the gaps in the Yugoslav military potentials, while the later ones were intended to complete and rearm Yugoslav units. Yugoslavs found out later that the total sum of planned military aid was 746.5 million dollars. By signing the MAP, the Yugoslav Government permitted that a certain number of the US military and civil personnel be accepted and allowed to monitor the process of MDAP deliveries. Equipment deliveries in the framework of the MDAP enabled the Jugoslovenska Narodna Armija – JNA (The Yugoslav People’s Army, the term People’s was introduced on 22 December 1951) a qualitative and quantitative growth. Contrary to this, the previous period of the Soviet blockade could be characterised at least as stagnant. Incorporation into the MDAP enabled parts of the JNA offi cers’ corps to attend special conversion and training programs. Following normalisation of relations between Yugoslavia and the USSR in 1955, their political, economic and even military contacts started to be restored. On the other hand, this led to much colder relations with the Western side. This process had a reflection on the process of MDAP deliveries which became much slower and with more delays. Suddenly, in view of their own new policy relations, the Yugoslavs decided to cancel further weapon aid deliveries. This was decided and published in a communiqué of the Yugoslav Government on 15 July 1957. Equipment from the MDAP defi nitely ceased arriving to Yugoslavia in February 1958. A total of 92.7% of estimated sum was delivered in a previous period. The most intensive development of Yugoslavia’s armed forces during its post-war existence occurred at the time when it was incorporated in MDAP system. In this period, thanks to the mentioned deliveries, the JNA grew into a several times stronger and much more modern structure than in the period of isolation from the East. The MDAP-supplied equipment raised a level of the technical culture and, not to be forgotten, influenced some of the later Yugoslav weapon developments. A much modern look of JNA was also of signifi cance, because it came out of this period equipped much alike any of the Western armies. It was American military equipment, coupled with development of domestic industry in the interior of the country that enabled Yugoslavia to adjust to the termination of Soviet military supplies and maintain its new defence posture. In the following period stagnation was dominant as well as the lack of the modernisation trends. It lasted until 1962, when Yugoslavia started an intensive military co-operation with the USSR.

  • Page Range: 255-274
  • Page Count: 20
  • Publication Year: 2008
  • Language: Serbian