Dušan Simović

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Dušan Simović
Dušan Simović.jpg
18th Prime Minister of Yugoslavia
In office
27 March 1941 – 12 January 1942
Monarch Peter II
Prince Paul (Regent, 1941)
Preceded by Dragiša Cvetković
Succeeded by Slobodan Jovanović
Personal details
Born (1882-10-28)28 October 1882
Kragujevac, Kingdom of Serbia
Died 26 August 1962(1962-08-26) (aged 79)
Belgrade, Yugoslavia
Citizenship Yugoslav
Occupation Soldier, politician
Military service
Allegiance  Kingdom of Yugoslavia
Service/branch Royal Yugoslav Army
Years of service 1900–1943
Rank General
Commands Royal Yugoslav Air Force
Chief of the General Staff

Dušan Simović (Serbian: Душан Симовић; 28 October 1882 – 26 August 1962) was a Serbian general who served as Chief of the General Staff of the Royal Yugoslav Army and as the Prime Minister of Yugoslavia.

Life and career[edit]

Simović was born on 28 October 1882 in Kragujevac. He attended elementary school and two years of high school in his hometown. Even as a high school student he had quite an interest in military and the military profession. Due to his interest in military matters, he left high school and entered the military academy in Belgrade. He completed Military Academy in 1900, when he was promoted to second lieutenant of artillery. Higher School of Military Academy completed in 1905, and pivotal preparation in 1912. In the Balkan Wars (1912-13) and during the First World War (1914-18), he proved to be an excellent officer, and was promoted in 1913, and again in 1915, to Lieutenant Colonel.

At Salonika, he was the commander of the 7th Infantry Regiment. But even in Thessalonica, Simović was interested in the Air Force and air defense. Every day, he became more and more interested in the works of flight pioneer Mihailo Petrović, reading Petrović's reports in the Balkan Wars, as well as his studies on aviation. So he decided to dedicate his life to aviation. In 1918, he was named to the delegates of the Serbian government and the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the National Council of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs in Zagreb. Up to the onset of WWII he devoted himself exclusively to aviation.

From May 1938 until 1940, he served as Chief of General Staff, in which position he replaced General Milutin Nedić. He joined other officers in a coup against the government of Dragiša Cvetković. After the coup, Simović became the new Prime Minister. He did not have much time to prepare for the coming war. On the wedding day of his daughter, the Germans invaded Yugoslavia on 6 April 1941.[1]

Simović fled the country with his family. After the end of World War II and the formation of Tito's second Yugoslavia, he returned to Belgrade in 1952 and went on to author a number of books on military issues. He died in Belgrade in 1962.[2]

Political offices
Preceded by
Dragiša Cvetković
Prime Minister of Yugoslavia
1941 – 1942
Succeeded by
Slobodan Jovanović
Preceded by
Office established
Minister of the Air Force and Navy of the Yugoslav government-in-exile
1941–1942
Succeeded by
Dragoljub Mihailović
Military offices
Preceded by
Milutin Nedić
Chief of the General Staff of the Yugoslav Royal Army
1938 – 1940
Succeeded by
Petar Kosić
Preceded by
Petar Kosić
Chief of the General Staff of the Yugoslav Royal Army
1941
Succeeded by
Danilo Kalafatović
Preceded by
Petar Bojović
Deputy Commander in Chief of the Yugoslavian Armed Forces
1941–1942
Succeeded by
Position abolished

References[edit]

  1. ^ Germany and the 2nd World War Volume III: The Mediterranean, south-east Europe, and north Africa, 1939-1941, Gerhard Schreiber, Bernd Stegemann, Detlef Vogel, 1995, p. 484
  2. ^ Obituary, New York Times (28 August 1962); "Gen. Simovic Dies; Yugoslav Leader; Headed Royal Government When Nazis Invaded in '41."