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61. Although this wartime situation was short-lived, lasting only from 1941 to 1945, it left bitter memories, not least in Bosnia and Herzegovina, large parts of which, including opstina Prijedor, were included in the puppet state of Croatia. The Second World War was for Yugoslavia a tragic time, marked by harsh repression, great hardship and the brutal treatment of minorities. It was a time of prolonged armed conflict, in part the product of civil war, in part a struggle against foreign invasion and subsequent occupation. Three distinct Yugoslav forces each fought one another: the Ustasa forces of the strongly nationalist Croatian State, supported by the Axis powers, the Chetniks, who were Serb nationalist and monarchist forces, and the Partisans, a largely communist and Serb group. At the same time the latter two opposed the German and Italian armies of occupation. The Partisans, under Josip Broz, later better known as Marshal Tito, did so consistently and with ultimate success, whereas the Chetniks’ role in this opposition to the invaders still remains a matter of great controversy. Although none of these three forces was predominantly Muslim, Muslims were to be found in the ranks of both the Ustasa and the Partisans.

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