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Belgrade Info Guide

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Belgrade Guide

Highlights

BELGRADE IN TWO WORLD WARS

Belgrade, tortured by wars and destructions, had more troubles coming. After the assassination of prince Franc Ferdinand in Sarajevo, Austria declared war to Serbia that joined the Antanta Powers (England, France and Russia) against the Axis Powers (Austria, Hungary and Germany). On the first day of war, 28 July 1914, the railroad bridge over the Sava was blown up and by this the connection between Serbian Belgrade and Austrian Zemun was broken, and in the coming days the city was under heavy cannon fire. In the first year of war Belgrade was under Austrian government only for fifteen days (from 18 November, till 2 December), but in September 1915 united German Austro-Hungarian army led by feldmarshal Mekenzen and assisted by Bulgarian troupes, conquers Belgrade one more.

On 22 October 1918 German, Austro-Hungarian, Bulgarian and Turkish troupes were defeated. For bravery shown in war, the city was awarded the French order of the highest rank, the Foreign Legion order, as well as the Czechoslovakian War cross.

The same year, in 1918, since satisfying the military, national and political, economic, industrial and commercial requirements, Belgrade becomes the capital of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenians, and Zemun becomes its integral part.

The period of intellectual, social and economic prosperity of “brotherly” nations lasted just around twenty years, since, dissatisfied by the conditions determined after the end of the World War I, Germany start its occupation programme.

Under the motto “Better grave than slave”, “Better war than alliance”, on 27 March 1941 the people of Belgrade raises to demonstrate against joining Tripartite alliance. On 6 April 1941, provoked by these demonstrations, Germany bombards Belgrade, and occupies it in only six days. The occupation of Belgrade lasted four years. During that period, Germans, but also by allied aviation, bombed Belgrade several times. On 20 October 1945 People’s army of Yugoslavia, with the help of the Red army, liberated Belgrade.

Yugoslavia had a historic opportunity; during the World War II it joined people’s freedom movement with the socialistic revolution. Due to this, on 29 November, 1945, the constitutional parliament abolished the monarchy, proclaimed The Federative People’s Republic of Yugoslavia with “comrade” Josip Broz Tito as a president. In the coming years Belgrade experienced fast industrial and cultural progress, became the centre of international political, economic, cultural and sports manifestations, got television programme Belgrade, the “Gazela” bridge, BITEF, FEST (see “Cultural and sport events in Belgrade), but, unfortunately, sees some of its inhabitants taken away to “Goli otok”.

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