Brother Against Brother

The COMINTERN Crisis 1948–1954

Bojan Dimitrijevic

This Brother against Brother: The COMINTERN Crisis 1948-1954 describes the conflict between Tito's Yugoslav Army and the Soviet and other satellite armies in the period following the Second World War. It was first major conflict within the communist bloc.
Date Published :
April 2023
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Series :
Illustration :
c 150 b/w photos, 25 color profiles, 5 maps
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781804512159
Pages : 96
Dimensions : 11.7 X 8.3 inches
Stock Status : Not Yet Published. Available for Pre-Order


Brother against Brother: The COMINTERN Crisis 1948–1954 describes the first armed conflict in the Communist world after the Second World War, that occurred between Tito’s Yugoslavia and the People’s Democratic states, headed by the Soviet Union, between 1948 and 1954. Brother against Brother details the process of “Sovietization” of the former Yugoslav Partisan Army, its ambitious development plans and influence in neighboring Albania, Bulgaria and the Greek Civil War, which led to rising suspicions amongst the Soviet leadership, especially Stalin. It would lead to the slow break down of mutual ties in the spring of 1948, and finally the Cominform Resolution on 28 June 1948.

The Resolution marked the start of a conflict that would last for almost seven years. Communist brothers-in-arms became bitter enemies and the Yugoslavian borders with the communist countries of Albania, Bulgaria, Rumania and Hungary became front-lines. The political clash turned into open hostilities at the borders: firing on border-guards, attacks on border posts, intrusions by agents and armed groups, and surveillance and troop movements. Despite the fact that Tito’s Yugoslavs were frightened by the expectation of the aggression from the East, it was never launched. The war on the Korean Peninsula turned the attention of both the Soviets and Americans to the Far East.

This book describes the Yugoslav Army’s organization, stressing the differences in pre-1948 and later reorganizations during the conflict. It provides the reader with detailed orders of battle of the Yugoslav Army, based on the author’s archival research. The book details the attempts of the Yugoslavs to establish an indigenous defense industry during this period in order to overcome the problem of supplying its army, stressing the development of the first Yugoslav tank, a series of piston engine fighters, and several types of vessels for Navy and series of small arms.

During the conflict, the Yugoslav military Counterintelligence Service (KOS) and State Security (UDBA) led the widespread struggle with the Soviet and satellite intelligence services on the borders and in the ranks of the army and security forces. Arrested supporters of Stalin, and those who were engaged by the Soviet and other intelligence services, were sent to camp at Goli Otok (Naked Island) in Adriatic for “re-education.”

The Cominform–Yugoslav conflict would come to a gradual end. First, by acceptance of Yugoslavia into the US Mutual Defence Aid Program in November 1951, which led to Tito’s army being treated almost on a par with those of NATO’s southern European members. And, second, after the death of Stalin in March 1953, which opened the possibilities that the clash should come to an end with Nikita Khrushchev’s public apology in Belgrade in mid-1955.

About The Author

Bojan Dimitrijevic is working as a historian and is Deputy Director of the Institute for Contemporary History, Belgrade, Serbia. Educated at the Universities of Belgrade and Novi Sad, CEU Budapest and the University of Bradford, he has also worked as the custodian of the Yugoslav Aviation Museum. During the period 2003-2009, Dimitrijevic served as advisor to the Minister of Defense, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the President of Serbia, and as Assistant to the Minister of Defense. He has published over 50 different books and more than 100 scientific articles in Serbia and abroad. His professional interest is in the military history of the former Yugoslavia and Balkans in World War Two, the Cold War as well as wars in the 1990s.

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