In November 1942 Tito set up his first form of Communist government, the Anti-Fascist Council for Yugoslavia (AVNOJ). Hitler asks Mussolini to send all of the Croatian Jews to German camps – Mussolini agrees, but his troops, lead by General Mario Roatta, refused to obey. Hitler’s next attack on the Partisans, ‘Operation Weiss’, began on 20 January 1943, with 90,000 Germans, Italians and Croats versus 20,000 Partisans. Tito was trapped but had a cunning plan – he did a peace deal with the Nazis to buy himself some time.
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