Yugoslavia signs Tripartite Pact
Tuesday, March 25, 1941 www.onwar.com
In Vienna... The Yugoslav Prime Minister Cvetkovic and the Foreign Minister Cincar-Markovic sign the Tripartite Pact. The reality of the situation and the influence of German pressure is made only too clear by the cold tone of the occasion. Germany agrees to respect Yugoslav sovereignty and not to demand passage for troops.
In Belgrade... There are disturbances in Belgrade when it becomes known that Yugoslavia has signed the Tripartite Pact.
In East Africa... The 5th Indian Division renews its advance toward the Italian blocking position on the Keren road.
March 25th, 1941
UNITED KINGDOM: RAF Bomber Command: 2 Group: Operations Order No. 20 Enemy ships carrying iron ore from Norway to Hamburg; oil from Spain past Ushant to France and Germany and convoys from Hamburg carrying stores needed by the occupation forces in Holland, Belgium and France are targeted.
MEDITERRANEAN SEA:Mines are laid by submarine HMS Rorqual west of Sicily.
NORWAY: German merchant raider ATLANTIS sails from Suderpipe disguised as a Norwegian merchant ship. (Alex Gordon)
BALTIC STATES: The resettlement within the Reich of 60,000 Germans from Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia has been completed. The migrations were carried out in accordance with a German-Soviet agreement signed on 10 January, and in return Germany has sent 20,000 Lithuanians, Russians and White Russians into the USSR.
Since 1936 the Nazis have planned ways of encouraging - or forcing - ethnic Germans outside the Reich to immigrate. In 1938 a resettlement agency was set up, under the direct authority of Hitler until 1939 when Himmler took over. So far over 400,000 ethnic Germans have been “repatriated”, the largest number 100,000 - in 1939 from the South Tyrol, a part of Austria given to Italy after the last war.
Many of the Reich’s new citizens live in poor conditions in camps in Nazi-occupied eatern Europe, and they have been promised farms and other possessions of deported Jews and Poles.
AUSTRIA: Vienna: in Vienna’s ornate Belvedere Palace today, the Yugoslav premier, Dragisa Cvetkovich, put his signature to the pact which binds his country to Germany and the Axis. He had left behind in Belgrade a government and country deeply divided, with the Serbs passionately pro-British and the Croats equally pro-German.
After the signing, the premier said that his chief aim was peace and security for the Yugoslav people. Von Ribbentrop welcomed Yugosalvia as a “new partner”, and promised that Germany would respect the country’s territorial integrity and not make military demands. Nobody believes him, least of all the Yugoslav premier.
GERMANY: Daily Keynote from the Reich Press Chief:
Your big front-page story today is Yugoslavia’s decision to join the [Axis] tripartite coalition. Besides giving a factual report of the event, you should add commentaries and articles which treat this as yet another significant victory for the concept of a new European order, over the destructive forces of the Anglo-Saxon world.
YUGOSLAVIA: There are disturbances in Belgrade when it becomes known that Yugoslavia has signed the Tripartite Pact with Germany. (Jack McKillop)
MEDITERRANEAN: Increasing Axis activity in the form of air reconnaissance was observed south and west of Greece and Crete and there are daily attempts to observe the harbor at Alexandria, Egypt. It was deduced from this additional interest in the activities and whereabouts of the Royal Navy’s Mediterranean Fleet that the enemy was planning some form of surface action. Secret intelligence intercepts confirmed that there would be attacks on British convoys but in planning the response it was most important to ensure that the Italians did not get any idea that this was known or suspected. (Jack McKillop)
ETHIOPIA: The 5th Indian Division renews its advance toward the Italian blocking position on the Keren road. (Jack McKillop)