Bulgar-Yugoslav controversy over Macedonia and the British connection, 1939-1949

by Dimitris Livanios

Abstract of D Phil Thesis submitted to the Faculty of Modern History, St.Antony's College, Univeristy of Oxford (1995).

Although both the Macedonian Question and British policy in the Balkans have attracted much interest, the relation between the two issues has been largely neglected. This study is an attempt to fill this vacuum, by exploring and assessing the British connection of the Macedonian Question between the outbreak of the Second World War (1939) and the aftermath of Tito's expulsion from the Cominform (1949). The aim of this thesis is twofold. Firstly, it attempts to investigate british views of, and policy towards, the Bulgar-Yugoslav controversy over Macedonia during that period, and to assess the impact of British actions and plans within their proper historical context. Secondly, this study attempts to contribute to the examination of some aspects of the Macedonian Question by offering a new perspective, based on extensive use of British archival sources.

The thesis begins with an introductory part which deals with the background of the Macedonian Question, from the establishment of the Bulgarian Exarchate (1870) to the outbreak of the Second World War (1939). The second part focuses on wartime developments, between 1939 and 1945. It includes an examination of British policy towards Bulgar-Yugoslav relations between 1939 and 1941, as well as an analysis of the shape of Bulgar-Yugoslav relations and Macedonia's position in British wartime planning (1941-1943). British policy towards the role of the Bulgarian army in Yugoslavia and Greece, in late 1944, is also discussed, and a chapter is devoted to Bulgar-Yugoslav negotiations for federation and to the British reactions. The final part of the thesis deals with the period from 1945 to 1949. Tito's second attempt to create a federation and the British reactions are investigated, and the making of People's Republic of Macedonia is discussed in the light of British sources. An overall assessment of British policy on the Macedonian Question as well as some general observations are offered in the conclusions.

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