The Balkans

Yugoslavia’s Very Secret Service

The UDBA is probably the least known major espionage agency of the Cold War. It remains influential, despite the break-up of the country it was formed to defend. 

Revolt in Belgrade, March 27th, 1941

The Yugoslav coup of 1941 marked a turning-point in the Second World War. Although the country was quickly overrun by German arms, writes A.W. Palmer, Hitler’s timetable for the invasion of Russia was seriously thrown out.

Skanderbeg: National Hero of Albania

In the mid-fifteenth century, writes Anthony Bryer, George Kastriota, surnamed Skanderbeg, was acclaimed as a powerful champion of Christianity on the eastern shores of the Adriatic.

Sarajevo's Elusive Assassin

Numerous untruths have persisted about Gavrilo Princip, the man who killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand. One of them was used by Austria-Hungary as grounds for its declaration of war against Serbia in 1914.

Shadow over Serbia: The Black Hand

A.W. Palmer describes how the troubled politics of Serbia played a large part in precipitating the first World War. By a policy of violence and assassination, a group of army conspirators, known as the “Black Hand,” laid a fuse to the Balkan powder-keg.

The Good Woman of Sarajevo

Mary Sparks describes a female citizen of Sarajevo, whose life in the city coincided with the period of Austro-Hungarian rule in Bosnia and whose impact on the social and cultural events reflected the modern aspirations of the city in the time leading up to the First World War