Hunting Tito

Being there . . . . to meet Josip Broz, born 1892-died 1980, referred to by the Allies in World
War II as “Europe’s Master Partisan”, although universally, especially across the free world, this
brave, courageous man was known by his wartime nickname, “Tito”, or “Comrade ‘This and
That’ “, since he was constantly telling staff, his partisans, and villagers, “Do this, do that”. Born
into a dirt-poor Catholic family, he never questioned, nay, wavered, from his commitment to
Leninist Communism, inherited from poppa and grand-poppa Broz. Highly intelligent with a
nonpareil loyalty to all his diverse Yugoslavic people in their separate states and regions, he and
his most trusted aides took to the barely conquerable mountains when he learned Hitler, a
fiercely cruel, resolute enemy, invaded the Soviet Union in June of 1941. Eleven months earlier,
the Nazi armies had rolled across the plains and down into and through the valleys of
Yugoslavia, one of the Europe’s easiest countries for the Germans to subdue. Almost instantly,
Tito’s men leaped into action, capturing by that Fall a number of Serbian villages and small
towns. Tito’s successes in 1943 won him and his men enormous admiration and respect from
the Allies throughout the war, especially from members of Yugoslavia’s royalist government-in-
exile in London. All who met him, either arriving by parachute or penetrating tight SS-
Wehrmacht lines, returned to describe their encounters with the growing legend, “No one
matches his love of country, total dedication to saving his people. He is always ready to discuss
and debate calmly any political or military question relating to his beloved Yugoslavia, and, if
necessary, decide on issues right there and then sitting or standing in front of you. He knows
himself, and especially what’s right for the Yugoslavians.” Study him carefully, reader, and learn
for yourself why Churchill and Roosevelt quietly nodded to him with so much appreciation.
“HUNTING TITO – – A History of Nachtschlachtgruppe 7 in World War II”, by Lovro Peren, Edited
by Nick Beale & Mario Raguz. Schiffer Publishing, Ltd: 2014, 192 pages, hardcover, 7 ½” x 10 ¼”,
$35. E-mail,
What entitles this minor classic, “…a major contribution to the vast enemy literature of
World War II
“ is that for the first time the history of one of the most significant and longest-lasting Luftwaffe
combat units is researched thoroughly, then presented to us along with rare, exceedingly hard
to track down and assemble, photos included! Operating against Tito and his partisans in
Yugoslavia, Nachtschlachtgruppe 7, and its predecessor units Storkampfstaffel Kroatien and
Sudost, fought an extraordinary four-plus year battle, one that was totally different from any
other Nachtschlachtgruppe in existence on either the eastern or western fronts. Military
experts will tell you the history of Nachtschlachtgruppe 7 ls unbreakably cross-linked with its
“sister” unit Nahauflarungstaffel Kroatien which eventually became its 2. Staffel in Autumn in

  1. Despite their obsolete equipment, flying the Hs 26, Do 17 and He 46, they fought as best
    they could against Tito’s until the end of the war. More than half a dozen campaigns were flung
    at Tito, the goal being to capture him alive, if possible, all to no avail.

Lovro Persen is a well-known aviation expert on Tito’s ability to disappear into thin air, evade
capture at all costs, then continue partisan activities throughout the German occupation of
Yugoslavia. Very highly respected, Lovro is founder and leader of the Initiative for the
Preservation of Croatian Aviation Heritage. As enthralling as this history is, “Hunting Tito” is a
must have military aviation book for your growing library, probably a classic you won’t be able
to find now that it’s been a decade after the book’s publication!