The Question of Armed Resistance in 1941


  • Damijan Guštin Inštitut za novejšo zgodovino, Kongresni trg 1, SI-1000 Ljubljana


Second World War, resistance movement, National Liberation Army and PR of Slovenia, partisans


In Slovenia, armed resistance against the occupying forces began as early as July 1941. The resistance, which was among the first in Europe, was inspired and organized by the Slovene wing of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia. Although originally intended to serve its own political interests and support the defense of the Soviet Union, the Slovene Liberation Front defined this armed resistance as a means of national liberation and unification of the Slovene ethnic lands which were part of the Italian and German states. First formed in July 1941, the resistance units totaled thirty-one partisan squads, each counting from ten to fifty men. Although insufficiently armed and mainly recoursing to guerrilla tactics they also carried out larger operations, like the one in Posavje in October 1941, to prevent the deportation of Slovenes. The organizers of the resistance movement endeavoured to mobilize as many people as possible to ensure a massive popular uprising. They succeeded in this to a large extent in December 1941 when the first massive mobilization was carried out in Upper Carniola.



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