Memorie.al publishes an archival document with the unknown files of the activity of the Anglo-American allies in our country during the War period, 1943-1946, issued by the Central State Archive, the fund “Activity of the Anglo-American allied missions in Albania”, where light is shed on their decisive contribution to the complete liberation of Albania from the Italians and the Germans. How dozens of Allied planes crashed in Albania, being captured by hundreds of paratroopers as well as civilian casualties in various cities in Albania…
During the period of the Second World War, the Anglo-American allied forces took an active part from the beginning of the anti-fascist resistance in Albania, joining the first nationalist and partisan detachments, they financed and regularly supplied money, clothing, medical equipment, ammunition, armaments, combat techniques, and everything else that resistance needed in our country. They carried out hundreds of flight air incursions, constantly bombarding all German troops and installations everywhere in all the provinces, villages and towns throughout the territory of Albania at that time, including those located in
Montenegro, Kosovo and Macedonia. And as a result of all this engagement, during the years 1943-1944, in the territory of Albania alone, several dozen allied planes were shot down, being killed, captured by the Germans, or disappeared without a trace, several hundred Anglo-American soldiers… Most of them ended up in the crematoria of Auschwitz, Mauthausen, Dakao, or other extermination camps set up by Hitler’s Nazis in various European countries. But all this, for Enver Hoxha and his communist regime, had value until 1946, when the war was over and he no longer needed them. At that time Hoxha severed all relations with the Anglo-Americans, and then everything they had done for Albania was erased as if they had never existed. From that time until the beginning of the ’90s, the official historiography and propaganda of the communist regime of Enver Hoxha, not only reflected their help and role in Albania as extremely sporadic, but on the contrary: considered them as an obstacle in the Anti-Fascist War, identifying them as “traitors and renegades” of their communist cause and ideals. As a result of all this propaganda for almost half a century, which unfortunately still continues today, in the image and imagination of most Albanians, the Anglo-American allies are the ones who “threw two shoes on one foot”, or spoiled biscuits and chocolates, “helping only their agent, Cana Basin”. Based on what we said above, without wanting to glorify their role, and to deny or minimize the role and contribution of all those Albanians who rose up and fought against foreign invaders during the years of World War II, but with the only purpose to enlighten and shed some light on the truth, Memorie.al. from this issue onwards, will publish a series of archival documents extracted from the Central State Archive in Tirana, which best reflects all the activity and activity of the Anglo-Americans in Albania. We are publishing some of them in an integral way and without any cuts, in order to create a clearer idea of their role and that of Albania at that time.
follows from the previous number
Government of Tirana: Committee for Air Defense
As can be seen from the numerous archival documents, during the years 1943-1944, the allied aviation undertook so many air incursions of bombing against German troops throughout the territory of Albania (Ethnic), that it forced the government of Tirana to form a Committee for Air Defense, putting even a large sum in gold francs from the state budget to compensate for damages. This came after, in addition to the incessantly striking German targets, Allied aviation mistakenly inflicted extensive material and human damage, leaving
hundreds killed and wounded by the civilian population. This is accurately evidenced by the relevant lists of damage and casualties in all towns and villages where the bombing took place. In this regard, an archival document state:
“Albanian state. The Municipality of the Capital.
Directorate of Admin-Personnel Services.
Prefecture of Tirana. Nr.2518 / II. The Ministry of
- Interior. Correspondence Directorate. Nr.3205 / 141.
CONCEPT. Tirana, on 12 / VI / 1944.
PREFECTURES OF THE MUNICIPALITY OF THE CAPITAL. TIRANA.
(Abbreviation: anti-aircraft measures)
You are informed that the Almighty German General in Albania, requests that the anti-aircraft defense measures by the population be strengthened in the following way:
- Regular obscuration by civilians and all places where German troops are stationed, especially in Tirana;
- Measures against the risk of fire in civilian homes located near buildings occupied by German troops, in order to limit eventual fire from the country of origin; Possession of appropriate police orders, in case they have not been given so far; Dense control by the Gendarmerie bodies about the measures listed in points 1 and 2.-Please therefore give me the necessary provisions for taking measures and respecting the points mentioned above.
N / MINISTER. (E.Çoba)
d.v.) MUNICIPALITY OF THE CAPITAL (Committee for M. K. Air)
Countries. I pray that the appropriate announcements are made by this Committee and that the conclusion is announced. PREFECT OF KL. I: (Q.Mulleti d.v.)
Ministry of Popular Culture. Tirana.
To announce it as soon as possible by radio and notebook.
ZAV. EXTRAORDINARY COMMISSIONER:
(Halil Mëniku) firm. 06/14/1944. (AQSH. Fund 152. Year 1944.
File 374. Fl. 181)
Memoirs of former Allied missionaries Julian, Amaery, David Smile and Reginald Hibbert
“Mehmet Shehu with the brigade was afraid to attack the patrol with 20 Germans”
Apart from the many documents found in the archives of the Albanian state, which clearly give the great and decisive contribution of the Anglo-American allies in the complete liberation of Albania, and the help given mainly to the partisans of Enver Hoxha, this is also reflected in the memoirs of some of the former allied soldiers who were on missions in Albania at that time, such as: Peter Kemp, David Smajl, Reginald Hibbert, Julian Amery, etc. In the preface to Julian Amery’s book “Sons of Albania” (first published in London in 1947 and then in Tirana in 2002), David Smajl writes, among other things: “We were in constant contact with Enver Hoxha and the General Staff of the LNC. When it was considered that everything was ready, the First Assault Brigade, commanded by Mehmet Shehu, held a parade. Our hopes were high that we had finally prepared a force capable of fighting the Italians and Germans who were arriving. A German checkpoint consisting of 20 soldiers was patrolling the road from Korça to Leskovik and they were a good target. We asked Mehmet Shehu to attack this post but he stubbornly refused. We realized that all our efforts had been wasted when the brigade had moved south and was setting fire to the ballistic villages. “It was clear that the brigade would be used to fight political rivals, the Ballists and the Zogists to bring the country under control after the foreign occupiers were driven out.” (“Bijtë e Shqipes”. Pg. 6, Lumo Skëndo Publishing House 2002) This event is also reflected by Reginald Hibbert in his book “Bitter Victory”, (Writers’ League Publishing House 1993) where in the middle others (p. 91) quoting David Smiley, he writes: “The peak of frustration with the partisans came when McLean and Smiley suggested that the 1st Brigade, after being armed and trained for a couple of months, should be tried in action. Mehmet Shehu apparently admitted this and an ambush was planned against a German convoy on a road near Barmash. Before the action began, Shehu withdrew it with an unfounded excuse, that a small German post on the street made impossible the advance of the 800-strong Brigade. We at the time called this attitude simply out of fear. “Shortly afterwards, the Italians launched a punitive attack on Vithkuq and Shtyllën and the First Brigade withdrew without much resistance.” The archival document sheds light on Allied aid to the partisans.
Document: “45 English officers in Helmës with Enver Hoxha”
In the multitude of archival documents which clearly reflect the activity of the Anglo-American allies in Albania during the War period, 1940-1944, a large place is occupied by those who talk about their help and contribution to the partisans of Enver Hoxha. It talks about allied officers and non-commissioned officers who in 1941 were attached to the first partisan detachments commanded by Bedri Spahiu in Gjirokastra, Nexhip Vinçani in Korça, Kadri Hoxha in Martanesh, Esat Ndreu in Dibër, etc. Those documents also reflect the great help they gave to Enver Hoxha personally, such as at the Poison Antifascist Youth Congress in Skrapar. Regarding this, in the document in question, which we are publishing in full, it is written: “Albanian state. The weapon of the Albanian Brotherhood. General Command. Adjutantura. No.311/4 Special Reserves. Tirana on July 30, 1944. Abbreviation: On a base in Skrapar of English Officers directing the activity of the Communist Staffs. Ministry of Interior (Political Office) Tirana. Following the announcement no. 311/2 res Especially on the 17th of this month, we have the honor to submit that the Berat Operation Area Command has been able to verify the above information by loyal people that it has sent to the country and refers us as follows: Above the village of Helma in Skrapar and exactly at the foot of Mount “Lirë” in a more or less wide meadow as well as in the neighborhood Xholak, in the same village where such a meadow is found again, a considerable number of barracks are still erected. Between these two countries land English planes with various material discharges and food. There are 15 Officers and 30 N / Officers and English Soldiers equipped with Broadcasting Radios. Enver Hoxha with his Headquarters is located in that Center. help of squads in the northern areas. A few days ago, a meeting of communist gangs took place in Çorovodë. and the confiscation of the grain, which they deposit without any food for the people. in the opinion of the Berat Operation Zone Command – full assistance of the People.- At the same time, the organization of the propaganda service is very necessary, the best way by distributing tracts by air and by hand through Berat, to point out the losses suffered in Debar e Mat, the event in Berane (Montenegro) on the murder of Ali Avdia with other Albanian Communist comrades./Memorie.al
Deputy Commander of P. Gendarmerie
COLONEL (Tahsin Bishqemi)
(AQSH. Fund 152. Year 1944. File 866. Page 24)