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Tito

(1892—1980) Yugoslav Marshal and statesman, Prime Minister 1945–53 and President 1953–80


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(1892–1980)

Yugoslav Marshal and statesman, Prime Minister (1945–53) and President (1953–80). Born in Croatia, he served in the Austro‐Hungarian army during World War I and was captured by the Russians in 1915. After escaping, he fought with the Bolsheviks in the Russian Revolution and became an active Communist organizer on returning to his country in 1920. Tito responded to the German invasion of Yugoslavia (1941) by organizing a Communist resistance movement using guerrilla tactics. His success in resisting the Germans earned him Allied support and he emerged as head of the new government at the end of the war. Tito defied Stalin over policy in the Balkans in 1948, proceeding to establish Yugoslavia as a non‐aligned Communist state with a federal constitution. As a result Yugoslavia was expelled from the Cominform. On his death the office of President was to rotate between the six republics. However, by 1989 the country began to disintegrate into separate warring factions.

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