Dušan Simović

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Dušan Simović
Душан Симовић
Dusan Simovic.jpg
14th Prime Minister of Yugoslavia
In office
27 March 1941 – 11 January 1942
MonarchPeter II
Preceded byDragiša Cvetković
Succeeded bySlobodan Jovanović
Personal details
Born(1882-10-28)28 October 1882
Kragujevac, Kingdom of Serbia
Died26 August 1962(1962-08-26) (aged 79)
Belgrade, PR Serbia, FPR Yugoslavia
CitizenshipYugoslav
SpouseSnežana Tadić
Children7
OccupationSoldier, politician
Military service
Allegiance Kingdom of Serbia
 Kingdom of Yugoslavia
Branch/service Royal Serbian Army
 Royal Yugoslav Army
Years of service1900–1943
RankArmy general
CommandsRoyal Yugoslav Air Force
Chief of the General Staff

Dušan Simović (Serbian Cyrillic: Душан Симовић; 28 October 1882 – 26 August 1962) was a Yugoslav Serb army general who served as Chief of the General Staff of the Royal Yugoslav Army and as the Prime Minister of Yugoslavia in 1940–1941.[1]

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. 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. He completed the Higher School of Military Academy in 1905. During 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.[2] At the Salonika front, he was the commander of the 7th Infantry Regiment. But even in Thessalonica front, 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 World War II he devoted himself exclusively to aviation.[3]

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, Nazi Germany invaded Yugoslavia on 6 April 1941.[4]

Simović fled the country with his family. On 28 October 1941 Simović sent a message to the commander of the Chetniks, Draža Mihailović, and urged him to avoid premature actions and avoid reprisals.[5]

After the end of World War II and the formation of Tito's second Yugoslavia, he returned to Belgrade from London in June 1945. After the war ended he was a witness against Draža Mihailović at the latter's trial, and went on to author a number of books on military issues. He died in Belgrade in 1962.[citation needed]

He was married to Snežana Tadić (1883–1971), a Serbian-Ukrainian-Croatian pharmacist from Valjevo, and daughter of Milorad Tadić (1861–1940), in October 1908. They had three sons and four daughters.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ A. W. Palmer, "Revolt in Belgrade, March 27, 1941,"History Today (March 1960) 10#3 pp 192-200.
  2. ^ Dusan Biber, "The Yugoslav Coup d'État, 27 March 1941" in John Erickson and David Dilks (eds), Barbarossa: The Axis and the Allies (Edinburgh University Press, 1994), pp.34-42
  3. ^ Dusan Biber, "The Yugoslav Coup d'État, 27 March 1941" in John Erickson and David Dilks (eds), Barbarossa: The Axis and the Allies (Edinburgh University Press, 1994), pp.34-42
  4. ^ 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
  5. ^ (Karchmar 1973, p. 241)
  6. ^ Obituary, The New York Times (28 August 1962); "Gen. Simovic Dies; Yugoslav Leader; Headed Royal Government When Nazis Invaded in '41."

Sources[edit]

  • Karchmar, Lucien (1973). Draz̆a Mihailović and the Rise of the C̆etnik Movement, 1941-1942. Department of History, Stanford University.
Political offices
Preceded by Prime Minister of Yugoslavia
1941 – 1942
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Office established
Minister of the Air Force and Navy of the Yugoslav government-in-exile
1941–1942
Succeeded by
Military offices
Preceded by Chief of the General Staff of the Yugoslav Royal Army
1938 – 1940
Succeeded by
Preceded by Chief of the General Staff of the Yugoslav Royal Army
1941
Succeeded by
Preceded by Deputy Commander in Chief of the Yugoslavian Armed Forces
1941–1942
Succeeded by