Pavle Đurišić

Pavle Đurišić
Native name Павле Ђуришић
Born (1909-07-09)9 July 1909
Podgorica, Principality of Montenegro
Died April 1945 (aged 35)
Independent State of Croatia
Place of burial Unknown
Service/branch Army
Years of service 1927–45
Rank Lieutenant Colonel
Commands held

Pavle Đurišić (Serbian Cyrillic: Павле Ђуришић, pronounced ; 9 July 1909 – April 1945) was a Montenegrin Serb regular officer of the Royal Yugoslav Army who became a Chetnik commander (vojvoda) and led a significant proportion of the Chetniks in Montenegro during World War II. He distinguished himself and became one of the main commanders during the popular uprising against the Italians in Montenegro in July 1941, and later collaborated with the Italians in actions against the Yugoslav Partisans. In 1943, his troops carried out several massacres against the Muslim population of Bosnia, Herzegovina and the Sandžak, and participated in the anti-Partisan Case White offensive alongside Italian forces. Đurišić was captured by the Germans in May 1943, escaped and was recaptured.

After the capitulation of Italy, the Germans released Đurišić and he began collaborating with them and the Serbian puppet government. In 1944, he created the Montenegrin Volunteer Corps with assistance from the Germans, Milan Nedić, and Dimitrije Ljotić. In late 1944, the German commander in Montenegro decorated him with the Iron Cross 2nd Class. Đurišić was killed following the Battle of Lijevče Field, after being captured by elements of the Armed Forces of the Independent State of Croatia near Banja Luka in an apparent trap set by them and Montenegrin separatist Sekula Drljević. Some of Đurišić's troops were killed either in this battle or in later attacks by the Partisans as they then continued their withdrawal west. Others attempted to withdraw to Austria; they were forced to surrender to the Partisans and were killed in the Kočevski Rog area of southern Slovenia in May and June 1945. Đurišić was a very able Yugoslav Chetnik leader; his fighting skills were respected by his allies and opponents alike.


  • Early life 1
  • World War II 2
    • Axis invasion and Italian occupation of Montenegro 2.1
      • Uprising in Montenegro 2.1.1
      • Mihailović's instructions 2.1.2
      • Collaboration with the Italians against the Partisans in Montenegro 2.1.3
    • Case White and cleansing actions 2.2
    • Capture 2.3
    • Release and return to Montenegro 2.4
    • Collaboration with the Germans against the Partisans in Montenegro 2.5
    • Withdrawal from Montenegro and death 2.6
    • Aftermath 2.7
  • Commemoration controversy 3
  • Notes 4
  • Footnotes 5
  • References 6
    • Books 6.1
    • Journals 6.2
    • Websites 6.3
  • External links 7

Early life

Pavle Đurišić was born on 9 July 1909 in Podgorica, Principality of Montenegro, where he was raised until the death of his father Ilija.[1] According to some sources he was born in 1907.[2][3] Đurišić was educated up to lower secondary school. Following his father's death, he moved to Berane, where he lived with his uncle Petar Radović, a judge and former Chetnik who had been a member of the band of Vuk Popović during the Macedonian Struggle. Đurišić attended a teacher training college in Berane for almost two years.[1]

In 1927, Đurišić entered the 55th class of the Military Academy; he was commissioned as an infantry potporučnik (second lieutenant) in the Royal Yugoslav Army (Serbo-Croatian: Vojska Kraljevine Jugoslavije, VKJ) in 1930. He began his service in Sarajevo with the 10th Infantry Regiment Takovska and attended infantry officers' school. Đurišić remained in Sarajevo until 1934 when, upon his own request, he was transferred to Berane where he served first as a platoon commander and later as a commander of the 1st Company of the 48th Infantry Regiment. On 7 April 1939, after the Italian invasion of Albania, Đurišić's company was sent to Plav near the Albanian border to gather intelligence. He established contact with individuals in Albania and obtained intelligence, but the information he obtained was not very useful for the defense of Yugoslavia and he returned to Berane with his company. Contacts Đurišić made during this period would become important a few years later.[4]

World War II

Axis invasion and Italian occupation of Montenegro

In April 1941, Germany and Italy invaded and occupied Yugoslavia. The Germans soon withdrew from Montenegro, leaving the Italians to occupy it. The Montenegrins quickly developed grievances against the Italians related to the expulsion of Montenegrins from Kosovo and Vojvodina, the influx of refugees from other parts of Yugoslavia, and those fleeing the Ustaše terror in the regions along the borders with Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Montenegrins also had grievances against the Italian annexation of important food producing territory in Kosovo and a salt producing facility at Ulcinj to Albania, and the economic damage inflicted on many Montenegrins by the temporary removal of Yugoslav banknotes of 500 dinars and above from circulation.[5] By the time of the invasion, Đurišić had been promoted to the rank of kapetan prve klase (captain first class).[6]

Uprising in Montenegro

In mid-July 1941, there was a general uprising initiated by the

  • Media related to at Wikimedia Commons

External links

  • "Ministarka kulture zabranila podizanje spomenika Đurišiću" [Minister for Culture bans raising of monument to Đurišić]. B92 (in Serbo-Croatian). 11 June 2003. 
  • "Zabranjen skup za otkrivanje spomenika Đurišiću" [Gathering for unveiling of Đurišić's monument banned]. B92 (in Serbo-Croatian). 4 July 2003. 
  • "Policija srušila postolje za spomenik Đurišiću" [Police destroy base for monument to Đurišić]. B92 (in Serbo-Croatian). 7 July 2003. 
  • "Montenegro: Muslims condemn plan to unveil monument to WWII warlord". BBC. 20 June 2003. 
  • "Montenegrin police destroy base for monument to controversial WWII leader". BBC. 7 July 2003. 
  • Gudžević, Sinan (18 June 2010). "Na kapi zvezda, u glavi kokarda". e-Novine (in Serbo-Croatian). 
  • Jasenovac Memorial Site (2014). "List of Individual Victims of Jasenovac Concentration Camp". Jasenovac Memorial Site. Retrieved 24 June 2014. 
  • Prijović, Zvonko (7 May 2002). "Crnogorska Ravna gora". Glas javnosti (in Serbo-Croatian). 
  • Prijović, Zvonko (13 June 2003). "Neće biti obeležja Pavlu Đurišiću". Glas javnosti (in Serbo-Croatian). 
  • Sekulović, Milutin (10 June 2003). "Partizanski komandant, pa – vojvoda". Večernje novosti (in Serbo-Croatian). 
  • "NOVA predlaže da država podigne spomenik Pavlu Đurišiću". Vijesti (in Serbo-Croatian). 13 August 2011. 


  • Royal Air Force (October–December 1944). "The Balkan Theatre: Greece and Yugoslavia". RAF Mediterranean Review (Egypt: Headquarters Mediterranean Allied Air Forces) (9): 55–82.  
  • Terzić, Milan (2004). "Falsifikat ili ne? Instrukcija Draže Mihailovića od 20. decembra 1941. Đorđu Lašiću i Pavlu Đurišiću" [Forgery or not? Draža Mihailović's Instructions of 20 December 1941 to Đorđe Lašić and Pavle Đurišić]. Vojno-istorijski glasnik (in Serbian) (Vojnoistorijski institut vojske SCG) 2004 (1–2): 209–214.  


  • Barić, Nikica (2011). "Relations between the Chetniks and the Authorities of the Independent State of Croatia, 1942–1945". In Ramet, Sabrina P.; Listhaug, Ola. Serbia and the Serbs in World War Two.  
  • Bojović, Jovan R., ed. (1987). Kolašinski četnički zatvor, 1942–1943: Zbornik radova sa naučnog skupa održanog u Kolašinu 14. i 15. maja 1984 [Kolašin Chetnik Prison 1942–1943, Proceedings from the Scientific Conferrence in Kolašin on 14 and 15 May 1984] (in Serbo-Croatian).  
  • Caccamo, Francesco; Monzali, Luciano (2008). L'occupazione italiana della Iugoslavia, 1941–1943 [The Italian Occupation of Yugoslavia, 1941–1943] (in Italian).  
  • Cohen, Philip J. (1996). Serbia's Secret War: Propaganda and the Deceit of History.  
  • Cohen, Philip J. (1997). The World War II and Contemporary Chetniks: Their Historico-Political Continuity and Implications for Stability in the Balkans.  
  • Dimitrijević, Bojan B. (2014). Vojska Nedićeve Srbije: Oružane snage srpske vlade, 1941–1945 [The Army of Nedić's Serbia: The Armed Forces of the Serbian Government, 1941–1945] (in Serbian).  
  • Đurišić, Mitar (1973). Sedma Crnogorska Omladinska Brigada "Budo Tomović" [Seventh Montenegrin Youth Brigade "Budo Tomović"] (in Serbian). Belgrade: Vojnoizdavački zavod.  
  • Đurišić, Mitar (1997). Primorska operativna grupa [Littoral Operational Group] (in Serbian). Belgrade: Vojnoistorijski institut.  
  • Funke, Hajo; Rhotert, Alexander (1999). ]Before Our Eyes: Ethnic Purity: The Politics of the Milošević Regime and the Role of the West [Unter unseren Augen: Ethnische Reinheit: die Politik des Regime Milosevic und die Rolle des Westens (in German).  
  • Karchmar, Lucien (1987). Draža Mihailović and the Rise of the Četnik Movement, 1941–1945. New York: Garland Publishing.  
  • Ličina, Đorđe (1977). Tragom plave lisice [Tracing the Blue Fox] (in Croatian). Zagreb: Centar za Informacije i Publicitet.  
  • Milazzo, Matteo J. (1975). The Chetnik Movement & the Yugoslav Resistance.  
  • Military Intelligence Division, War Department (1944). A Chronology, World War II (NOV 1944).  
  • Mojzes, Paul (2011). Balkan Genocides: Holocaust and Ethnic Cleansing in the 20th Century.  
  • Morrison, Kenneth (2009). Montenegro: A Modern History. London: I.B. Tauris.  
  • Pajović, Radoje (1977). Kontrarevolucija u Crnoj Gori: Četnički i federalistički pokret, 1941–1945 [The Counter-revolution in Montenegro: The Chetnik and Federalist Movements, 1941–1945] (in Serbo-Croatian).  
  • Pajović, Radoje (1987). Pavle Đurišić (in Serbo-Croatian). Zagreb: Centar za informacije i publicitet.  
  • Pavlićević, Veselin-Mitko (2014). ]The "Leftist Errors" of Milovan Đilas, or Party Syllogism ["Lijeve greške" Milovana Đilasa ili partijski silogizam (in Serbo-Croatian) (Ličnost i djelo Milovana Đilasa; Zbornik radova s međunarodnog naučnog simpozijuma ed.). Nikšić: Philosophical University of Nikšić.  
  • Ramet, Sabrina P. (2006). The Three Yugoslavias: State-Building and Legitimation, 1918–2005.  
  • Roberts, Walter R. (1987). Tito, Mihailović and the Allies: 1941–1945.  
  • Schmider, Klaus (2002). Partisanenkrieg in Jugoslawien, 1941–1944 [Partisan Warfare in Yugoslavia, 1941–1944] (in German).  
  • Thomas, Nigel; Mikulan, Krunoslav (1995). Axis Forces in Yugoslavia 1941–45. New York: Osprey Publishing.  
  • Tomasevich, Jozo (2001). War and Revolution in Yugoslavia, 1941–1945: Occupation and Collaboration. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press.  
  • Vojnoistorijski institut (1956). Zbornik dokumenata i podataka o narodnooslobodilačkom ratu jugoslovenskih naroda [Collection of Documents and Statistics About the National Liberation War of the Yugoslav People]. III/8. Belgrade: Vojnoistorijski institut.  



  1. ^ a b Pajović 1987, pp. 12–13.
  2. ^ Pajović 1977, p. 167.
  3. ^ a b Jasenovac Memorial Site 2014.
  4. ^ Pajović 1987, p. 12.
  5. ^ Tomasevich 2001, pp. 138–140.
  6. ^ a b c Pajović 1987, p. 18.
  7. ^ Pavlowitch 2007, p. 74.
  8. ^ a b c Tomasevich 1975, p. 209.
  9. ^ a b Pavlowitch 2007, p. 76.
  10. ^ Morrison 2009, p. 56.
  11. ^ Caccamo & Monzali 2008, p. 186.
  12. ^ Đilas 1980, p. 150.
  13. ^ Pavlowitch 2007, p. 75.
  14. ^ a b Pajović 1987, p. 21.
  15. ^ Pajović 1987, p. 11.
  16. ^ Pavlowitch 2007, pp. 75–76.
  17. ^ Pajović 1987, pp. 22–23.
  18. ^ Tomasevich 2001, pp. 140–142.
  19. ^ Pavlowitch 2007, pp. 75–78.
  20. ^ Karchmar 1987, p. 386.
  21. ^ Pavlowitch 2007, pp. 78–79.
  22. ^ a b c Maclean 1957, p. 210.
  23. ^ a b c Milazzo 1975, p. 46.
  24. ^ Tomasevich 1975, pp. 209–210.
  25. ^ a b c Tomasevich 1975, p. 170.
  26. ^ Pajović 1987, p. 28.
  27. ^ Karchmar 1987, p. 397.
  28. ^ Pavlowitch 2007, pp. 79–80.
  29. ^ Malcolm 1994, p. 179.
  30. ^ Ramet 2006, p. 145.
  31. ^ Pajović 1987, pp. 28–29.
  32. ^ Terzić 2004, pp. 209–214.
  33. ^ Pajović 1987, pp. 30–31.
  34. ^ a b Pajović 1987, pp. 32–33.
  35. ^ a b Pajović 1987, pp. 33–34.
  36. ^ Pajović 1987, p. 33.
  37. ^ Pajović 1987, pp. 31–32.
  38. ^ Milazzo 1975, p. 47.
  39. ^ Pavlowitch 2007, pp. 104–106.
  40. ^ Bojović 1987, p. 90.
  41. ^ Bojović 1987, pp. 152–153.
  42. ^ Bojović 1987, p. 15.
  43. ^ Bojović 1987, pp. 157–160.
  44. ^ Milazzo 1975, p. 82.
  45. ^ a b Pajović 1987, pp. 11–12.
  46. ^ Pavlowitch 2007, pp. 109–113.
  47. ^ Tomasevich 2001, p. 142.
  48. ^ a b Tomasevich 1975, pp. 210–212.
  49. ^ Milazzo 1975, p. 85.
  50. ^ Tomasevich 1975, p. 211.
  51. ^ Pavlowitch 2007, p. 106.
  52. ^ Tomasevich 2001, pp. 142–143.
  53. ^ Pavlowitch 2007, p. 109.
  54. ^ Pavlowitch 2007, p. 112.
  55. ^ Tomasevich 1975, p. 171.
  56. ^ Milazzo 1975, p. 109.
  57. ^ Pajović 1987, p. 59.
  58. ^ Milazzo 1975, pp. 113–116.
  59. ^ Tomasevich 1975, p. 258.
  60. ^ Milazzo 1975, pp. 115–116.
  61. ^ Pajović 1987, pp. 59–60.
  62. ^ a b c Tomasevich 1975, pp. 258–259.
  63. ^ Mojzes 2011, p. 97.
  64. ^ Judah 2000, pp. 120–121.
  65. ^ Hoare 2006, pp. 331–332.
  66. ^ a b Cohen 1996, p. 45.
  67. ^ Pajović 1987, p. 60.
  68. ^ Milazzo 1975, pp. 124–125.
  69. ^ Tomasevich 1975, p. 239.
  70. ^ Milazzo 1975, pp. 135–136.
  71. ^ a b Tomasevich 1975, p. 251.
  72. ^ Milazzo 1975, p. 144.
  73. ^ Tomasevich 1975, p. 252.
  74. ^ a b Tomasevich 1975, pp. 252–253.
  75. ^ Roberts 1987, p. 124.
  76. ^ Tomasevich 1975, p. 255.
  77. ^ Roberts 1987, p. 125.
  78. ^ Fleming 2002, p. 142.
  79. ^ a b c Tomasevich 1975, pp. 349–351.
  80. ^ Pavlowitch 2007, p. 195.
  81. ^ Fleming 2002, p. 144.
  82. ^ Tomasevich 2001, p. 147.
  83. ^ a b Ramet 2006, pp. 134–135.
  84. ^ Ramet 2006, p. 134.
  85. ^ Tomasevich 1975, pp. 349–350.
  86. ^ Karchmar 1987, p. 434.
  87. ^ a b c d Tomasevich 1975, p. 350.
  88. ^ a b Pajović 1987, p. 76.
  89. ^ Pajović 1987, pp. 76–77.
  90. ^ a b Schmider 2002, p. 369.
  91. ^ Pajović 1987, pp. 464–466.
  92. ^ Pajović 1987, p. 466.
  93. ^ Cohen 1996, p. 57.
  94. ^ Pajović 1987, p. 78.
  95. ^ Tomasevich 1975, p. 441.
  96. ^ Tomasevich 1975, p. 351.
  97. ^ Tomasevich 2001, p. 222.
  98. ^ Dimitrijević 2014, pp. 450–452.
  99. ^ Pajović 1987, pp. 78–79.
  100. ^ Pajović 1977, p. 476.
  101. ^ Pajović 1977, p. 478.
  102. ^ Pajović 1977, p. 480.
  103. ^ Đurišić 1973, pp. 139–151.
  104. ^ Dimitrijević 2014, p. 452.
  105. ^ Pajović 1977, p. 483.
  106. ^ Pajović 1977, pp. 505–506.
  107. ^ Đurišić 1973, p. 172.
  108. ^ Đurišić 1973, p. 163.
  109. ^ Military Intelligence Division, War Department: World War II, A Chronology (NOV 1944), Section III: Mediterranean Theater, p. 240: See-saw fighting continues in Podgorica area where Germans are isolated in narrow sector around Lake Scutari and Podgorica.
    p. 254: German positions around Scutari, Danilov Grad, and Podgorica reported critical.
  110. ^ Royal Air Force 1944, pp. 64 & 72.
  111. ^ Pajović 1977, p. 509.
  112. ^ United States National Archives, Record Group 242, Microfilm series T311, Roll 184, frames 000386-7, Army Group E High Command, A Survey of the Numerical Strength of the Subordinated Units on 16 November 1944
  113. ^ Đurišić 1997, p. 157.
  114. ^ Đurišić 1997, p. 173.
  115. ^ Đurišić 1997, p. 176.
  116. ^ Pajović 1987, pp. 11 & 78.
  117. ^ Cohen 1997, p. 34.
  118. ^ Funke & Rhotert 1999, p. 52.
  119. ^ Minić 1993, p. 149.
  120. ^ Ličina 1977, p. 253.
  121. ^ National Archives, Washington D.C., microcopy T-501, roll 256, frames 509, 867; Records of German Field Commands: Rear Areas, Occupied Territories and Others. Microfilm Publication T-501. 363 rolls. (GG 38, 57 and T176/roll 25, cited in Cohen 1996, pp. 45, 174
  122. ^ Đurišić 1997, p. 207.
  123. ^ Đurišić 1997, p. 218.
  124. ^ Tomasevich 1975, p. 427.
  125. ^ Military Intelligence Division, War Department 1944, pp. 203,206,209,249,251,261,266,267.
  126. ^ Royal Air Force 1944, p. 49.
  127. ^ Vojnoistorijski institut 1956, pp. 738-739.
  128. ^ Pavlowitch 2007, p. 241.
  129. ^ a b c d Tomasevich 1975, pp. 447–448.
  130. ^ a b Milazzo 1975, p. 181.
  131. ^ a b c Thomas & Mikulan 1995, p. 23.
  132. ^ Tomasevich 1975, pp. 446–448.
  133. ^ Barić 2011, pp. 194–195.
  134. ^ Tomasevich 2001, p. 776.
  135. ^ Tomasevich 2001, p. 774.
  136. ^ Tomasevich 2001, p. 766.
  137. ^ Tomasevich 2001, pp. 765–766.
  138. ^ Pavlowitch 2007, p. 111.
  139. ^ Tomasevich 1975, p. 315.
  140. ^ Gudžević 2010.
  141. ^ Prijović 2002.
  142. ^ B92 11 June 2003.
  143. ^ Sekulović 2003.
  144. ^ BBC 7 July 2003.
  145. ^ B92 4 July 2003.
  146. ^ Prijović 2003.
  147. ^ B92 7 July 2003.
  148. ^ BBC 20 June 2003.
  149. ^ Vijesti 13 August 2011.


  1. ^ According to Milazzo, Lašić was designated as commander of "Mountain Staff No. 15".[23]
  2. ^ There are a substantial number of sources that mention this award.[22][116][66][117][118][119][120][121]


In 2011, the Montenegrin Serb political party New Serb Democracy (NOVA) renewed efforts to built a monument; they stated that Đurišić and other royal Yugoslav officers were "leaders of the 13 July uprising" and they "continued their struggle to liberate the country under the leadership of King Peter and the Government of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia".[149]

In May 2002, plans for a "Montenegrin Ravna Gora" memorial complex to be located near Berane were prepared. The complex was to be dedicated to Đurišić, who spent some of his youth in Berane and established his wartime headquarters there.[141] In June 2003, the Montenegrin Minister of Culture Vesna Kilibarda banned the construction of the monument, saying the Ministry of Culture had not applied for approval to erect it.[142] The Association of War Veterans of the National Liberation Army (SUBNOR) objected to the construction of the monument, saying Đurišić was a war criminal who was responsible for the deaths of many colleagues of the veterans association and 7,000 Muslims.[143] The Muslim Association of Montenegro condemned the construction and stated, "this is an attempt to rehabilitate him and it is a great insult to the children of the innocent victims and the Muslim people in Montenegro".[144] On 4 July 2002, the Montenegrin government forbade the unveiling of the monument, stating that it "caused public concern, encouraged division among the citizens of Montenegro, and incited national and religious hatred and intolerance".[145] A press release from the committee in charge of the monument's construction said the actions taken by the government were "absolutely illegal and inappropriate".[146] On 7 July, the police removed the stand that had been prepared for the monument.[147][148]

The Serbian diaspora in the United States set up a monument dedicated to Pavle Đurišić at the Serbian cemetery in Libertyville, Illinois. The management and players of the football club Red Star Belgrade visited it on 23 May 2010.[140]

a concrete plinth with a bust on top of it
The monument to Đurišić erected in the Serbian cemetery in Libertyville, Illinois

Commemoration controversy

According to Tomasevich, the killing of the Montenegrin Chetniks by the Partisans at Kočevski Rog was an "act of mass terror and brutal political surgery",[136] similar to those carried out by the Chetniks earlier in the war. It was partly an act of revenge for the mass terror carried out by the Chetniks against the Partisans and pro-Partisan segments of the population and partly to stop the Chetniks from continuing an armed struggle against the communists, perhaps with Western assistance.[137] Less than a quarter of the force that began with Đurišić in Montenegro, and other Chetniks who joined him during the journey north and west, survived. A few weeks later, Drljević, who had fled to Austria, was discovered by followers of Đurišić and killed.[129] Đurišić was one of the most able Yugoslav Chetnik leaders;[131] his fighting skills were respected by his allies and opponents.[138][139]

Some of Đurišić's troops escaped and travelled west. Some were killed by Partisan forces, who were to the south of their intended withdrawal route west to Slovenia.[134] The majority, left without a leader, were integrated into Drljević's Montenegrin National Army and withdrew towards the Austrian border.[131] Portions of both groups were later captured in Slovenia by the Partisans. About 1,000 of Đurišić's Chetniks crossed into Austria but were forced to return to Yugoslavia,[130] where some were killed by the Partisans near the Yugoslav–Austrian border. Most were taken to southern Slovenia, where they were killed and their bodies thrown into deep abysses in the Kočevski Rog area.[135]


Both the NDH forces and Drljević had reasons for ensnaring Đurišić. The NDH forces were motivated by the mass terror committed by Đurišić on the Muslim population in Sandžak and south-eastern Bosnia. Drljević was opposed to Đurišić's support of a union of Serbia and Montenegro, which ran counter to Drljević's separatism.[129]

After this defeat and the defection of one of his sub-units to Drljević, Đurišić was forced to negotiate directly with the leaders of the NDH forces about the further movement of his Chetniks towards Slovenia. This appears to have been a trap; he was attacked and captured by the NDH on his way to the meeting. Events after his capture are unclear, but Đurišić, Vasić, Ostojić, and Baćović were subsequently killed along with others—including some Serbian Orthodox priests.[129] According to Pajović, the Ustaše executed Đurišić in late April 1945 at the Jasenovac concentration camp.[45] The website of the Jasenovac Memorial Site says Đurišić was killed at the camp by the Ustaše in 1945.[3] The location of Đurišić's grave, if any, is unknown.

To reach Bihać, Đurišić made a safe-conduct agreement with elements of the Armed Forces of the Independent State of Croatia (NDH) and with the Montenegrin separatist Drljević. The details of the agreement are not known, but it is thought he and his troops intended to cross the Sava river into Slavonia where they would join Drljević as the Montenegrin National Army, of which Đurišić was the operational commander. Đurišić apparently tried to outsmart them and sent only his sick and wounded troops across the river, keeping his fit troops south of the river. He began moving his command westwards; harassed by the NDH troops and Partisans, Đurišić's forces reached the Vrbas river. In the Battle of Lijevče Field north of Banja Luka, the combined Chetnik force was defeated by a strong NDH force, which was armed with German-supplied tanks.[132] This was probably the largest combat action between NDH forces and the Chetniks in the previous two years.[133]

Đurišić's forces proceeded to north-eastern Bosnia to join Mihailović.[79] Đurišić had wanted to withdraw through Albania to Greece but Mihailović told him to prepare for an Allied landing, the return of the king, and the establishment of a national government.[128] After Đurišić joined Mihailović in north-eastern Bosnia, he was critical of Mihailović's leadership and argued strongly for all remaining Chetnik troops to move to Slovenia. Mihailović was not persuaded; Đurišić decided to move to Slovenia independently of Mihailović and arranged for Ljotić's forces, which were already there, to meet him near Bihać in western Bosnia to assist his movement. When he left Mihailović, he was joined by Chetnik ideologue Dragiša Vasić and the detachments commanded by Ostojić and Petar Baćović, and around 10,000 refugees.[129][130] This force was formed into the Chetnik 8th Montenegrin Army consisting of the 1st, 5th, 8th and 9th (Herzegovina) divisions.[131]

Twelve days of fierce fighting resulted in significant casualties, including the commander of the 363rd Grenadier Regiment. The Germans made no progress; they lost Boka in the meantime. On 25 November, the Army Group E commander decided to abandon this line of attack and shift the XXI Mountain Corps assault towards Kolašin. The German XCI Corps was ordered to attack towards Kolašin from the north to facilitate the task of the XXI Mountain Corps. Chetniks under Đurišić's command continued to fight alongside the Germans. On 18 December, the combined assaults of the XXI Mountain Corps and XCI Corps linked up near Mojkovac and the XXI Mountain Corps units continued their march towards Bosnia through Prijepolje and Višegrad. After reaching Kolašin, Đurišić's force separated from the Germans to relieve pressure on the German route of march. They headed towards Bosnia, marching to the west of the Germans and bypassing Pljevlja. During the breakout and subsequent withdrawal, both Germans and Chetniks were subjected to frequent attacks by the Allied Balkan Air Force (BAF) and the US 15th Air Force, whose planes bombed roads, bridges, and the columns on the move.[125][126] According to German documents, Đurišić's forces forcibly recruited men, assaulted women, and looted villages during their withdrawal from Montenegro.[127]

On 14 November, the German XXI Mountain Corps launched an assault from Podgorica towards Nikšić to clear a corridor through which the German forces in Montenegro could withdraw towards the Reich. This task was entrusted to the 363rd Grenadier Regiment of the 181st Infantry Division reinforced with artillery. It was supported by two combined German battle groups and the Italian 86th National Republican Guard (GNR) Battalion—formerly the 86th Blackshirts (CCNN) Battalion. Around 1,200 of Đurišić's Chetniks were deployed on the flanks of the attack.[122] The main Partisan formation facing this assault was the 6th Montenegrin Brigade, which was supported by the artillery group of the 2nd Shock Corps and the 211th (East Lancashire) Battery of the British 111th Field Artillery Regiment, Royal Artillery,[123] which had been landed at Dubrovnik in late October to support the Partisans with their 25-pounder guns.[124]

Joint Wehrmacht/Chetnik breakout from Montenegro: Green: German XCI Corps Black: Chetniks of Pavle Đurišić Red: Yugoslav Partisans

Withdrawal from Montenegro and death

On 11 October 1944, at the suggestion of von Weichs, Keiper, the German Plenipotentiary General in Montenegro, awarded Đurišić the Iron Cross (2nd Class) in the name of the Führer and the German High Command for fighting against the Partisans.[2]

German Army Group E Command ordered the XXI Mountain Corps to advance through Nikšić and Trebinje and connect with the 5th SS Corps in the Mostar area; they were still losing ground. On 21 October 1944, after a five-day battle against German relief attempts from the south and Chetnik attempts from the west, the Partisans crushed the resistance of the besieged Grahovo garrison comprising the Chetnik Vučedol Brigade and the reinforced 5th Company of the 2nd Battalion of the German 334th Regiment. The 3rd Brigade of the Italian Partisan Garibaldi Division was among the smaller units that participated in the attack.[113] On 6 November, the Partisan Littoral Operational Group began its assault on Cetinje, whose defence consisted of the 222nd Fusilier Battalion of the 181st Division and the 2nd Battalion of the 359th Regiment reinforced with artillery and smaller units, the 144th Black Shirts Battalion, a tank company, and about 600 Chetniks.[114] On 8 November, the Germans and Chetniks in Cetinje were reinforced with a formation of 800–1,000 Chetniks led by Đurišić that broke through the Partisan blockade.[115] In spite of this, the German–Chetnik defence yielded and Cetinje was captured on 13 November.

Entitlement document for the award to Đurišić of the Iron Cross – 2nd Class. (left) Front page of Lovćen reporting on the award (right)

Đurišić maintained contact with Lukačević, who at that time had begun to attack the Germans in Herzegovina with his own forces. Đurišić considered the possibility of joining Lukačević in fighting the Germans in anticipation of an Allied landing.[111] However, because Lukačević was quickly defeated and no Allied landing occurred, Đurišić remained tied to the Germans. German intelligence closely tracked Đurišić's communications and movements, and German commands continued to make use of his forces. The Germans counted Đurišić's Chetniks as part of Army Group E in a survey of available forces dated 16 November 1944. In the survey, German forces in Montenegro at that time were estimated at 47,000 soldiers, including Đurišić's 10,000 Chetniks.[112]

Đurišić remained in Montenegro until the end of Operation Rübezahl in late August 1944, after which he returned to the Sandžak. Following Operation Rübezahl, the presence of Partisan and German forces in northern Montenegro and the Sandžak was reduced and the focus of operations shifted to Serbia. Remaining Partisan units quickly re-established domination over temporarily lost territories and the German 181st Infantry Division ordered its three battalions that remained isolated in the Pljevlja area to break through Partisan-held territory and reunite with the rest of the division at Mateševo. This plan, codenamed Nordsturm, relied on the substantial participation of Đurišić's units. It fitted well with Đurišić's general orientation to move towards the coast, where an Allied landing was expected.[106] Nordsturm began on 31 August; the Germans and Chetniks took Kolašin on 5 September and Berane on 11 September. The 181st Division established a strong defensive position in Mateševo to protect Podgorica. Cities in northern Montenegro and the Sandžak were left to the Chetniks, reinforced with small German groups, with the intention of slowing down the Partisan advance. The Partisans attacked within days. On 15 September, the 3rd Shock Division captured Berane. They defeated the Chetniks and a force of 70 Germans, killing 143 Chetniks and 8 Germans.[107] On the same day, the 5th Proletarian Montenegrin Shock Brigade took Kolašin, which was defended by 400 Chetniks and 50 Germans.[108] Nikšić was captured on 18 September; the 37th Sandžak Division took Prijepolje on 29 September and Pljevlja on 1 October. The 29th Herzegovina Division captured Gacko on 1 September, Bileća on 2 October, and Trebinje on 7 October. With this, a large gap was created between the German XXI Mountain Corps and Đurišić's forces concentrated in Podgorica and the coastal area, and other German and Chetnik forces.[109][110]

Collaboration between Đurišić's forces and the Germans continued into late 1944.[79] On 13 July 1944, Radio Belgrade praised Đurišić "for his services to the Axis cause".[22] The 8th Regiment of the CDK was nearly destroyed in August by the 7th Montenegro Youth Brigade "Budo Tomović" during Operation Rübezahl.[103] The CDK suffered heavy losses in fighting; the 2nd Panzer Army ordered its re-formation on 21 September 1944.[104] Đurišić and his forces conducted reprisals against the population in Pljevlja, Prijepolje, Priboj, and Nova Varoš.[88] The Chetniks also raided villages to intimidate and eradicate Partisan sympathisers, notably at Bjelopavlići, where 48 communists were executed.[105]

Leutnant Heusz, a former German liaison officer for Lukačević, was assigned to watch Đurišić. On 30 May 1944, Heusz sent a detailed briefing with instructions that Đurišić was responsible "for control and assuring of the execution of the directives issued by the German command posts" and "liaison between the staffs and units of the Montenegrin Volunteer Corps on the one hand and the German command posts on the other, especially in the course of operations against [the Partisans]".[87] In mid-June, with the consent of the 2nd Panzer Army Command, Đurišić moved to the Podgorica area with a group of associates to personally direct the formation of the 8th Regiment of the CDK.[100] On 24 June, he visited Keiper in Boka Kotorska, led by recently promoted Lieutenant Colonel Blažo Gojnić, and the other under a command staff for Stari Ras.[102]

[87] The CDK comprised between 7,000 and 8,000 men.[99]. Each regiment was planned to consist of two "corps" of 800 men each.Nikšić, and Danilovgrad and Berane. The 7th Regiment, headquartered in Pljevlja, was commanded by Captain Radoman Rajlić and consisted of Sandžak Chetniks. The 8th Regiment, based in Podgorica, was commanded by Captain Miloš Pavićević and consisted of Chetniks from Podgorica, Andrijevica The 6th Regiment, based in Prijepolje, was commanded by Captain Vuksan Cimbaljević and included Chetniks from the districts of [87] Đurišić was appointed commander; his corps headquarters were in Prijepolje.[98] The German

In mid-May 1944, Đurišić visited Belgrade and asked Nedić, Neubacher, and Generalfeldmarschall (Field Marshal) Maximilian von Weichs, German Commander-in-Chief Southeast, to urgently send arms and other supplies to his unit, which was authorised to a strength of 5,000 men.[94] Đurišić—with help from the Germans, Nedić, and Ljotić—then established the Montenegrin Volunteer Corps (Serbian: Crnogorski dobrovoljački korpus, CDK), which was formally part of the SDK.[95] The CDK consisted of some of Đurišić's former soldiers who had been released from German captivity, but most were Chetniks who had remained in Montenegro and were gathered under the umbrella term "national forces". By this time, although he still formally owed allegiance to Yugoslavia through Mihailović,[96] he also owed some allegiance to the Germans and to Nedić, who had released, promoted, and supported him.[97]

When the Partisan 2nd Proletarian and 5th Krajina divisions advanced into Serbia in March 1944, Partisan forces in northern Montenegro and the Sandžak were reduced to the 37th Sandžak Division. To exploit this weakness, Đurišić proposed to the Germans that they launch an offensive operation. Operation Frühlingserwachen was planned for the northern parts of Montenegro and the Sandžak; its primary objective was the capture of Kolašin through concentric attacks launched from Pljevlja, Prijepolje and Pešter. This would permit them to link up with forces advancing from Podgorica in the south and to drive a wedge through the middle of the Partisan lines. Operation Frühlingserwachen involved an Axis force of about 5,000 men comprising some of Đurišić's forces, the SS Polizei-Selbstschutz-Regiment Sandschak, the 2nd Battalion of the 5th Regiment of the SDK, and two reinforced German motorised companies. The operation began on 9 April; on 12 April they reached Bijelo Polje. Đurišić's forces seized Berane on 17 April, but the 37th Sandžak Division halted the advancing forces on the line of the Tara River at Mojkovac. On 24 April, after nine days of attacks and counter-attacks, the 37th Sandžak Division, reinforced by the 7th Montenegro Youth Brigade "Budo Tomović" of the 3rd Shock Division, regained the initiative. They retook Bijelo Polje on 30 April, and Berane on 5 May.[91] This reversal consolidated the poor German–Chetnik position in Montenegro; their forces in the south were completely isolated from those in the north.[90] Chetnik forces and their allies suffered heavy casualties; the 2nd Battalion of the 5th Regiment of the SDK was reduced from 893 men to 350.[92][93]

In February 1944, Nedić sent the 2nd Battalion of the 5th Regiment of the SDK to Montenegro to supplement Đurišić's forces.[89] In the first half of 1944, the Germans in Montenegro and the Sandžak organised offensives against the Partisans, largely relying on forces under the command of Lašić and Đurišić. Because of the weakness of their own forces, the Germans contributed by commanding and supplying the troops involved, and providing smaller mobile armoured units with heavy weapons. The Chetnik leaders provided most of the troops. In February and March, the Germans and numerous Chetnik units undertook a series of operations codenamed Bora, Baumblüte and Vorfrühling around Podgorica.[90]

Collaboration with the Germans against the Partisans in Montenegro

In September 1943, the Italians capitulated and the Germans occupied Montenegro, establishing an area command (German: Feldkommandantur 1040) under Generalmajor (Brigadier) Wilhem Keiper.[82] Soon after, the German Special Envoy in Belgrade Hermann Neubacher, Milan Nedić, and the German Military Commander in south-east Europe General Hans Felber arranged for Đurišić to be released.[83] Neubacher had developed a plan to esablish a union between Serbia and Montenegro and submitted it to Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop in October 1943.[84] Đurišić was an important part of this plan. He was well regarded by the Chetniks and pro-Chetnik populace in Montenegro, and Stanišić and Đukanović had been killed. Neubacher, Nedić and Felber believed Đurišić could be used to fight the Partisans in Montenegro and help form closer relations between Serbia and Montenegro.[85] Although Neubacher's plan did not gain Hitler's approval, Đurišić received supplies including arms and ammunition from the Germans and in November 1943 he returned to Montenegro to fight against the Partisans.[83] At this time he established closer ties with Dimitrije Ljotić, whose Serbian Volunteer Corps (SDK) provided him with weapons, food, typewriters, and other supplies. He also worked with Nedić, who promoted him to the rank of lieutenant colonel,[86] and appointed him assistant to the commander of the SDK.[87] According to Pajović, Đurišić was promoted in early to mid-1944 by the Yugoslav government-in-exile on the advice of Mihailović.[88]

Release and return to Montenegro

On 14 May 1943, a forward detachment of the German 1st Mountain Division entered Kolašin and seized Đurišić by deceiving the Italian troops who were guarding his headquarters.[75] Đurišić and the Chetniks did not resist their capture and there were no casualties. The Italians vigorously protested Đurišić's capture but the Germans overruled them.[74] With the capture of Đurišić's Chetniks and another Chetnik group west of Kolašin a few days later, Case Black became an almost entirely anti-Partisan operation.[76] Đurišić was driven away in a vehicle carrying Red Cross markings;[77] he was then flown from Berane to a prisoner-of-war camp at Stryi in the Lviv region of Galicia which formed part of the German occupation area of the General Government.[78] He escaped three months later and was recaptured by the authorities of the Serbian puppet government in October 1943 while attempting to cross the Danube near Pančevo in southern Banat. He was handed over to the Germans and held in the Gestapo prison in Belgrade.[79][80][81]

On 10 May 1943, Oberstleutnant (Lieutenant Colonel) Heinz, commander of the 4th Regiment of the Brandenburg Division, met Đurišić at Kolašin with the intent of engaging him to help the Germans against the Partisans. Đurišić said he was willing to do this, and once the Partisans were defeated he said he would be ready to fight alongside the Germans on the Russian Front. During the meeting, Đurišić told Heinz that Mihailović had left Kolašin at the end of 1942 and that he refused to accept Mihailović's current policy. Đurišić said Mihailović had been distracted by propaganda and was over-rated, and described him as "an unsteady visionary wandering through the land".[73] Đurišić also said Josip Broz Tito and his Partisans were the only serious enemy. On 11 May 1943, Heinz submitted a proposal to General der Infanterie (Lieutenant General) Rudolf Lüters, the German Commanding General in Croatia, regarding the Chetniks who had been "legalised" by the Italians. He suggested the Germans also "legalise" Đurišić's Chetniks and use them to disarm "non-legalised" Chetniks groups. Heinz also proposed that after the Partisans had been destroyed, the Germans "legalise" only weak detachments of Đurišić's Chetniks. Subsequent events indicate Heinz's approach to Đurišić may not have been authorised by his superiors and that his suggestions were not acted upon.[74]

The Germans followed up Case White with a further offensive, codenamed "Case Black", whose objectives were the "disarming of all Chetniks and the destruction of all Partisans in Montenegro and Sandžak",[71] to secure important bauxite, lead, and chromium mines. According to Tomasevich, the main reasons for the offensive were the threat of an Allied landing in the Balkans and the need to eliminate resistance groups that could assist the Allies.[71] In early May 1943, the Germans entered the Sandžak and eastern Montenegro area. Đurišić withdrew to Kolašin with about 500 fighters and joined forces with Serbian Chetniks commanded by Dragutin Keserović.[72]


By the end of February 1943, Đurišić's Chetniks were resisting Partisan attempts to move east from the Neretva river.[68][69] After the Battle of Neretva, during which the Partisans forced a crossing of the river against faltering Chetnik opposition, Đurišić's detachment of about 2,000 fighters fell back to Kalinovik, where they were almost defeated by the Partisan 2nd Proletarian Division in late March. Falling back further towards the Drina river, Đurišić had assembled about 4,500 Bosnian and Montenegrin Chetniks around Foča by April but was in desperate need of supplies. Shortly after this, the Italians withdrew most of their troops from Foča and abandoned most of the Sandžak. For the rest of April 1943, Đurišić fought a holding action against the Partisans along the Drina river with his 3,000 remaining fighters.[70]

About 500 Muslims, mostly women, children and the elderly, were killed in Goražde in March. Several women were raped.[65] An estimated 10,000 people were killed in the anti-Muslim operations commanded by Đurišić between January and February 1943. The casualty rate would have been higher if many Muslims had not already fled the area—most to Sarajevo—when the February action began.[62] Chetnik casualties during the operations were reported as 36 killed and 58 wounded.[66] The orders for the "cleansing" operation stated that the Chetniks should kill all Muslim fighters, communists and Ustaše, but that they should not kill women and children. According to Pajović, these instructions were included to ensure there was no written evidence for the killing of non-combatants. On 8 February, one Chetnik commander made a notation on his copy of written orders issued by Đurišić that the detachments had received additional orders to kill all Muslims they encountered. On 10 February, the commander of the Pljevlja Chetnik Brigade told one of his battalion commanders that he was to kill everyone in accordance with the orders of their highest commanders.[67] According to Tomasevich, despite Chetnik claims that this and previous "cleansing actions" were countermeasures against aggressive Muslim activities, all circumstances point to it being Đurišić's partial achievement of Mihailović's previous directive to clear the Sandžak of Muslims.[62]

The operations were executed exactly according to orders. [...] All the commanders and units carried out their tasks satisfactorily. [...] All Muslim villages in the three above mentioned districts are entirely burnt, so that not one of the houses remained undamaged. All property has been destroyed except cattle, corn and hay. In certain places the collection of fodder and food has been ordered so that we can set up warehouses for reserved food for the units which have remained on the terrain in order to purge it and to search the wooded areas as well as establish and strengthen the organization on the liberated territory. During operations complete annihilation of the Muslim population was undertaken, regardless of sex and age.
—Pavle Đurišić

In early February 1943, during their advance north-west into Herzegovina in preparation for their involvement in Case White, the combined Chetnik force killed large numbers of the Muslim population in the targeted areas. In a report to Mihailović dated 13 February 1943, Đurišić wrote that his Chetniks had killed about 1,200 Muslim combatants and about 8,000 elderly people, women, and children, and had destroyed all property except livestock, grain and hay, which they had seized.[62][63] Đurišić reported that:[64]

As Italian auxiliaries, Đurišić's detachment was so dependent on the Italians for arms and transport that it had not left Montenegro until 18 January 1943, two days before the first phase of Case White was to begin.[60] On 3 January 1943, Ostojić issued orders to "cleanse" the Čajniče district of Ustaše–Muslim organisations. According to the historian Radoje Pajović, Ostojić produced a detailed plan that avoided specifying what was to be done with the district's Muslim population. Instead, these instructions were to be given orally to the responsible commanders. Delays in the movement of Chetnik forces into Bosnia to participate in Case White alongside the Italians enabled the Chetnik Supreme Command to expand the planned "cleansing" operation to include the Pljevlja district in the Sandžak and the Foča district of Bosnia. A combined Chetnik force of 6,000 divided into four detachments and commanded by Vojislav Lukačević, Andrija Vesković, Zdravko Kasalović and Bajo Nikić was assembled. Mihailović ordered all four detachments to be placed under the overall command of Đurišić.[61]

In December 1942, concerned about the possibility of Allied forces landing in the Balkans, the Germans began planning an anti-Partisan offensive in Bosnia and Herzegovina codenamed "Case White". The size of the planned offensive required the involvement of both the Croatian Home Guard and the Italians. Late in the planning, the Italians began to prepare and equip Chetnik detachments, including that of Đurišić, for involvement in the operation.[58] In early January 1943, the Chetnik Supreme Command ordered Montenegrin Chetnik units to carry out "cleansing actions" against Muslims in Bijelo Polje county in north-eastern Montenegro. On 10 January 1943, Đurišić reported that Chetniks under his command had burned down 33 Muslim villages, killed 400 Muslim fighters—members of the Muslim self-protection militia also supported by the Italians—and had also killed about 1,000 Muslim women and children.[59]

Đurišić's report of 13 February 1943 informing Mihailović of the massacres of Muslims in the counties of Čajniče and Foča in southeastern Bosnia and in the county of Pljevlja in the Sandžak.

Case White and cleansing actions

In December 1942, Chetniks from Montenegro and the Sandžak met at a conference in the village of Šahovići near Bijelo Polje. The conference was dominated by Đurišić; its resolutions expressed extremism and intolerance, and its agenda focused on restoring the pre-war status quo in Yugoslavia implemented in its initial stages by a Chetnik dictatorship. It also laid claim to parts of the territory of Yugoslavia's neighbours.[54] At this conference, Mihailović was represented by Major Zaharije Ostojić, his chief of staff,[55] who had previously been encouraged by Mihailović to wage a campaign of terror against the Muslim population living along the borders of Montenegro and the Sandžak.[56] One outcome of the conference was the decision to destroy the Muslim villages in the Čajniče district of Bosnia.[57]

During the rest of 1942, Italian operations in conjunction with their Chetnik auxiliaries forced the remaining Partisans out of Montenegro,[51] after which the Italians used the Chetnik auxiliaries to police the countryside.[52] For most of this time, Đurišić operated fairly independently in northern Montenegro; he was described as "a law unto himself".[53]

On 24 July 1942, [48] The existing "Montenegrin Chetnik committee", which was led by the Brigadier General Đukanović and to which Đurišić was aligned,[49] was recognised by the Italians as the "Nationalist Committee of Montenegro". Its only political aims were to "crush communism and to safeguard law and order and the well being of the Montenegrin population". The committee was also obliged "to undertake everything that is in its power and authority to preserve order and discipline in the country and will counteract all possible actions that could be directed against the Italian authorities".[50] Arrangements were to be made by mutual understanding for pay, rations, weaponry, and aid to the families of Chetniks.[48]

In May 1942, Đurišić attacked and defeated the last significant Partisan detachment in Montenegro.[44] In June 1942, Đurišić collaborated with the Ustaše in Foča in south-eastern Bosnia.[45] After being forced out of Serbia by the Germans, Mihailović arrived in Montenegro as the Italians and Chetniks were fighting the Partisans. Mihailović was accompanied by his staff and a British Special Operations Executive (SOE) liaison officer. He eventually established his base in the village of Gornje Lipovo, a few miles from Đurišić's headquarters at Kolašin. Mihailović and his staff had few troops and relied on Đurišić for protection. Soon after Mihailović arrived in Montenegro, Đurišić told Mihailović's SOE liaison officer that he was available to act independently and in defiance of Mihailović. Đurišić and the other Chetnik commanders in Montenegro nominally recognised Mihailović as their supreme commander but they rarely obeyed him.[46]

Chetnik terror against political opponents intensified following Đurišić's capture of Kolašin on 23 February. Captured Partisans and sympathizers were typically killed on the spot, including 17 wounded Partisans captured in the village of Lipovo.[40] Show trials were staged in March and April for some of the town's prominent citizens, whom the Chetniks considered opponents, and many known or suspected communists were sentenced to death and executed.[41] Đurišić formed a Chetnik prison in Kolašin, in which 2,000 people were incarcerated and tortured. At least 74 prisoners were shot at Breza near Kolašin.[42] In late April 1943, 313 inmates of Kolašin Chetnik prison were handed to Italians; 27 of these were executed during an Italian mass execution of 180 hostages on 25 June 1943.[43]

Despite his possession of Mihailović's instructions, Đurišić initially had minimal influence on the non-communist elements of the Montenegrin resistance and was unable to develop an effective strategy against the Italians or Partisans in the months after his return to Montenegro. In early 1942, his Chetnik detachment became more active against local Muslims, especially in eastern Montenegro and the Sandžak.[38] The Partisans occupied Kolašin in January and February 1942, and turned against all real and potential opposition; they killed about 300 people and threw their corpses into pits they called the "dogs' cemetery". Because of this and other examples of communist terror, some Montenegrins turned against the Partisans. On 23 February, Đurišić captured Kolašin and held it as a Chetnik bastion until May 1943.[39]

  • lead the fight against the communists and their supporters;
  • maintain contact with the Italian military authorities, so that his actions were carried out in accordance with Italian instructions. North of Lijeva Rijeka, Đurišić agreed to clear his actions with Bonini, and south of Lijeva Rijeka he was to coordinate with Biroli;
  • maintain order and guarantee the safety of roads in his area of operations;
  • never attack Italian troops and limit his activities to fighting against the communists;
  • return all arms provided by the Italians, except for those needed to maintain order, after the destruction of the communists.
  • <