The eve and the beginning of Second World War for Croatia (1939–1941)
For the first time in Ukrainian historiography, the article analyzes the internal and geopolitical situation in Croatian lands before and during the first period of Second World War (1939–1941). The period from the signing of the "Cvetkovic-Macek Agreement" to the formation of the Independent State of Croatia is chronologically covered. Much attention was paid to the plans of Germany (the Third Reich) and Italy for the fate of Yugoslavia, which included these territories. Germany intensified its activities in Yugoslavia through the "fifth column". France and the United Kingdom also sought to drag Yugoslavia to their side in the expanding war. The Croatian nationalists Ustashes supported by these countries launched activities in the Balkans. Besides, the military exercises began in Italy. A broad outreach campaign has been launched. The movement united all Croats who were in Italy. The similar newspapers were published in Rome and Vienna. The circumstances of the formation of Croatia’s Banovina (1939) and the Independent State of Croatia (1941) are analyzed on the background of the political events both internal and external. In the first case, the Croats became part of the new government in Belgrade and the "The Law of Banovina Croatia" was published immediately. All this meant the end of "Yugoslavism" and Unitarianism. On the second, on April 10, 1941, an hour before the arrival of the Wehrmacht troops in Zagreb, Slavko Kvaternik in his speech transmitted to Zagreb radio announced the creation of the Independent State of Croatia, headed by the Ustasha head (leader) Ante Pavelic. Yugoslavia was occupied as one state and disappeared from the map of Europe.
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