Abandoned 1984 winter olympic bobsleigh track, Sarajevo-Bosnia

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There was a famous march over the mountains of Bosnia that was part of a retreating action by Tito and his men. Indeed Tito and his partisans did a ton of fighting in ’42 and ’43 in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was after the brutal fighting in Bosnia and Herzegovina in early ’43 during Operation Weiss that the partisan revolt became much more widespread. I’m not sure where you got your information, but I can assure you it is inaccurate and incomplete.

Honestly, even boiling down the German occupation of Yugoslavia into a simple good/bad narrative is itself extremely reductive. Between the Chetniks, the Partisans, the Ustasa the Italians, the Germans and all the other groups running around the area that were alternately fighting against and allying with each other, the whole war was a giant clusterfuck. More than half of the time, all the different regional, communist, partisan and nationalists forces were fighting each other in order to gain political control. The only group that was consistently allied with one side were the Croatian Ustasa, who were overtly fascist and were allied with the Germans through most of the war, and who adopted a campaign of genocide of both Jews and Serbs in a desire to pursue a racially pure Greater Croatia. But, as awful as they were, the Chetniks and the Partisans weren’t really angels either. In general, there was mass ethnic killing all around, with only Tito’s Partisans really working to create a unified multi-ethnic state. But, of course, he was pretty brutal in his leadership too.

Really, if you know much of the history of the Balkans, you find that the area has been the fault line of empires for literally thousands of years. There has been so much religious, cultural and ethnic tension in that area that has lead to so much killing, it is sometimes hard to believe the extent of the brutality. Romans, Venetians, Ottomans, Hapsburgs, you name it.

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