It is well known that Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union and Josip Tito of Yugoslavia despised each other. Shortly after World
War II ended, the two leaders and their respective countries became embroiled in a diplomatic struggle, largely because Tito refused to accept the Soviet Union as the leader of the Communist world.
What is not widely known is how Stalin’s personal hatred of Tito and his country almost instigated a general war in Europe between the Communist East and the Free West over the fate of Yugoslavia.
15 years ago, John R. Schindler, a historian and national security scholar, published an article on the subject in Cryptologic Quarterly, a classified periodical maintained by the National Security Agency. The NSA recently declassified it. You can read the full text here.
In the article, Schindler describes how Tito became, in Stalin’s mind, a terrible enemy of Communism that had to be destroyed at all cost: