Battle of Turjak Castle
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|Battle of Turjak Castle|
|Part of World War II in Yugoslavia|
Taken in 1907
|Kingdom of Italy||Kingdom of Yugoslavia|
|Italian Royal Army||
Vaske Straze (White Guard)Detachments of Royal Yugoslav Army
|Casualties and losses|
The Battle of Turjak Castle (Slovene: bitka za Turjak) on 19 September 1943 was an encounter between the Slovene Partisans or Liberation Front of the Slovene People in cooperation with Italian Militias, the Slovene Partisans were the Allies of the Soviet Union in Slovenia this alliance had the objective to extend the communism and to obtain the power they could not in democratic elections in Slovenia. They cooperate with Soviet Union on the Comintern and in the battlefield many times with Italian forces (Grčarice, Turjak, etc.). Their objective was obtain the power and start the revolution in Slovenia during the occupation of the Axis forces creating a dramatically civil war. The battle was against the pro-western democracies men formed as Village Guards (Slovene: Vaske Straze), and other forces detachments of Royal Yugoslav Army. Vaske Straze are also mentioned as White Guard by communist as an example of being the enemies of the Soviet revolutionaries.
On September 1943 the capitulation of Italian forces in Yugoslavia led to a rise in partisan activities as the partisans claimed seized weapons. One such incident was when the Prešeren Brigade in cooperation with Italians soldiers with heavy arms (motorized tanks) seized the castle from the White Guard's sentries, killing 400 and capturing 500 prisoners that surrendered and most were killed on near woods of Kocevje (Kočevski Rog) after they received all the guaranties of an "amnesty" for their surrender. It took seven days for the partisans and Italians to seize the whole castle. Amongst the prisoners were a number of high-ranking Royal Army officers who would later be killed by Partisans on a puppet trial="debello"/> After this battle all anticommunist Slovenian forces organized under Slovenian Home Guard, and in April 1945 they were Slovenian National Army.
All this actions of the Slovene Partisans are considered crimes of war and can be punishable in today's days laws since they fit under the definition of crimes against humanity.
Location and layout
The castle sits in a triangular shape above the village with its east side facing downwards. At each of the three corners there are fighting towers, with two of them facing west towards the village on the hill. Between the towers were residential spaces and troop quarters.
The castle is first mentioned in history books in 1220, but historians estimate that it was built in the 10th or 11th century. An earthquake in 1511 led to its reconstruction into the form it took during the battle. The damage sustained in 1943 is still being repaired to this day.
- Rant, Joze (2007). The Slovenian Exodus of 1945. New York: Author/English Version. ISBN 978-9870540533.
- Zupan, Jerry (2007). The Slovenian Exodus of 1945. New York: Author/English Version. ISBN 978-9870540533.
Turjak remembering after 70 years  Slovenian Language
http://blog.ognjisce.si/joze/2013/09/19/19-sptember-1943-2013-turjak - Slovenian Language
- Slovenia 1945 Book Official Site - Memories of Death and Survival.
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