Military Wiki
Milan Nedić
Милан Недић (Serbian)
Prime Minister of the Government of National Salvation

In office
Preceded by Office established
Succeeded by Office dissolved
Personal details
Born (1877-09-07)7 September 1877
Grocka, Principality of Serbia, Ottoman Empire
Died 4 February 1946(1946-02-04) (aged 68)
Belgrade, Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia
Nationality Serbian
Religion Serbian Orthodoxy
Military service
Allegiance  Kingdom of Serbia
 Kingdom of Yugoslavia
Years of service 1904 - 1941
Rank General
Commands Chief of the General Staff

Milan Nedić (Serbian Cyrillic Милан Недић) (7 September 1877 – 4 February 1946) was a Serbian general and politician. He was the chief of the general staff of the Yugoslav Army, minister of war in the Royal Yugoslav Government and the prime minister of a Nazi-backed Serbian puppet government during World War II. After the war, Yugoslav communist authorities imprisoned him. In 1946 they reported that he had suddenly committed suicide by jumping out of a window.[1] This claim has been recently brought into question, with testimony of Miodrag Mladenović, a former officer in Yugoslavian OZNA.[2]

Early life

Nedić was born in Grocka close to Belgrade, Principality of Serbia, Ottoman Empire. He finished the gymnasium in Kragujevac and entered the lower level of the Military Academy in 1895. In 1904 he completed the upper level of the Academy, then the General Staff Preparatory, and was commissioned in the Army.[3]

In 1908, Nedić was serving as a staff officer, and between 1910 – 1912 in France on foreign assignment. He was promoted to the rank of major in 1910, and served during the Balkan Wars during which he received a number of decorations and medals for bravery.[verification needed] He was promoted to lieutenant colonel in 1913.

During World War I, in 1915 he was promoted to colonel and served in the general staff as the youngest colonel in the Serbian Army. During the retreat of the Serbian Army and Government through Albania in November 1915 through January 1916, under Austrian and German pressure, his troops provided cover. He was appointed the Ordnance Officer to King Peter I of Serbia in 1916 who retreated together with his people and his Army. In September 1918, he commanded the Infantry Brigade of the Timok Division when they made a breakthrough at Thessaloniki Front along with British, Greek and French allies.


Kingdom of Yugoslavia

After the war, he continued as the commander of the Infantry Brigade, before he was made the staff commander of the 4th and 3rd Army Oblast as well as the commander of the Drava Division Oblast. He was made division general in 1923 and finally army general in 1930. Between 1934 and 1935, he commanded the General Staff of the Yugoslav Royal Army.

In 1939 he was made the Minister of Army and Navy of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, but because of his disapproval of a potential participation in the war against Adolf Hitler's Germany, Nedić was dismissed on 6 November 1940 by regent Paul. This was most likely out of unease with Nazi Germany's ally, Fascist Italy which at the time harboured the Croatian extreme nationalist Ustashe leader Ante Pavelić in exile in Rome, and because of the rhetoric of some Italian fascists in the past such as the late Gabriele D'Annunzio, who were violently opposed to a Yugoslav state. Nedić welcomed the coup of 1941 which deposed the pro-Axis regime, and fought for Yugoslavia in the German-led Axis invasion that followed the coup.

Occupied Serbia

The Wehrmacht commander Heinrich Danckelmann decided to entrust Nedić with the administration of German-occupied Serbia in order to pacify Serb resistance. Not long ago, Nedić had lost his only son and pregnant daughter in law in a munition explosion in Smederevo, in which several thousands died. He accepted the post of the prime minister in the government called the Government of National Salvation, on August 29, 1941.

On September 1, 1941, Nedić made a speech on Radio Belgrade where he declared the intent of his administration to "save the core of the Serbian people" occupied and surrounded by Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany, the Independent State of Croatia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Bosnian Muslims. By accepting the occupation of Germany in the area of Sumadija, Drina Valley, Pomoravlje and Banat. He also spoke against organizing resistance to the occupying forces due to German rule that 50 Serbs were murdered for a wounded German soldier, and 100 for a killed soldier. In addition, at least 300,000 Serbs were forcefully taken to German camps. His state's propaganda funded by Germany promoted anti-Semitism, anti-communism, which particularly linked these up with anti-masonry[4] as a means of swaying Serbs to see these groups as their enemies along with the Germans.

The Serbian government under Nedić accepted many refugees mostly of Serbian descent. The German occupiers held no respect for his authority or Serbs and during the war, over 300,000 people died in Serbia of war-related causes in German reprisals, that demanded as above mentioned 100 killed Serbs for one killed German soldier, as in the Kragujevac massacre. In August 1942, the German occupiers proclaimed Serbia Judenfrei. Nedić also secretly diverted money and arms from his government to the Chetniks.

On October 4, 1944, with the successes of the Yugoslav Partisans and their onslaught onto Belgrade, Nedić's government was disbanded and on October 6, Nedić fled from Belgrade to Kitzbühel, Austria (then annexed to Germany) where he took refuge with the occupying British. On January 1, 1946, the British forces handed him over to the Yugoslav Communist forces.

He was incarcerated in Belgrade on charge of treason. On February 5, the newspapers reported that Milan Nedić committed suicide by jumping out of a window while the guards were not looking.

Recently, Miodrag Mladenović, a former officer with of the Yugoslavian OZNA, said that on February 4, 1946, he received an order to pick up a dead body at Zmaj Jovina street, where the prison was located at the time. When he arrived there, the body was already wrapped in a blanket and rigor mortis had already set in. According to the orders given to him, he took the body to the cemetery where it was buried in an unusually deep grave. He never attempted to see the face of the person that he carried, but the day after, he read in news that Milan Nedić had committed suicide by jumping through the prison window at Zmaj Jovina street.[2]


The Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts named Nedić as one of the 100 most significant Serbs.[5] The minor Serbian Liberal Party attempted to promote his rehabilitation as an anti-nazi who did his best in an impossible situation, altogether sparking a lot of controversy in Serbia.

Nedić's portrait was included among those of Serbian prime ministers in the building of the Government of Serbia.[6] In 2008 the Minister of Interior and Deputy PM Ivica Dačić removed the portrait after neo-Nazi marches were announced in the country.[6]

Military offices
Preceded by
Milan Milovanović
Chief of the General Staff of Royal Yugoslav Army
1934 – 1935
Succeeded by
Ljubomir Marić
Political offices
Preceded by
New title
President of the Ministerial Council of the Serbian Government of National Salvation
1941 – 1944
Succeeded by
Position abolished



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