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The Beograd class consisted of three destroyers built for the Royal Yugoslav Navy in the late 1930s, to a French design. Beograd was constructed in France, and Zagreb and Ljubljana were built in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. During the German-led Axis invasion of Yugoslavia in April 1941, Zagreb was scuttled to prevent its capture, and the other two were seized by the Italians. The Royal Italian Navy operated the two captured ships as convoy escorts between Italy, the Aegean Sea and North Africa. One was lost in the Gulf of Tunis in April 1943; the other was seized by the Germans in September 1943 after the Italian surrender, and was operated by the German Navy. There are conflicting reports about the fate of the last ship, but it was lost in the final weeks of the war. In 1967, a French film was made about the scuttling of Zagreb. In 1973, the President of Yugoslavia and wartime Partisan leader Josip Broz Tito awarded the Order of the People's Hero posthumously to the two officers who scuttled Zagreb. (Full article...)
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