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|Independent State of Montenegro
Независна Држава Црна Гора
Montenegrin territory in 1944
|Official languages||Montenegrin, Serbian, German, Italian|
|-||Prime Minister||Sekula Drljević|
|-||Declaration||5 May 1941|
|Currency||Perper, lira, Reichsmark|
The Independent State of Montenegro, also called the Kingdom of Montenegro, was a state established in the former territory of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia after its invasion by the Axis Powers in April 1941. It was one of the three puppet regimes established by Nazi Germany within former Yugoslavia, the other two being the Independent State of Croatia and the Free State of Serbia. Montenegro had close relations to Serbia, but was often at odds with Croatia, due to Croatia's genocidal ultranationalist regime. It was initially a puppet state of the Italian Empire, but after World War II ended, Germany weakened Italy's hold on its regimes in the Balkans, and Montenegro was given much more freedoms.
Montenegro was ruled by King Nicholas Romanov, a prince of the Russian Imperial Family, the House of Romanov, who fled the country after the communist victory in the Russian Civil War. He had a good reputation among the native Montenegrins, who were glad that they were at least led by another Slavic person instead of an Italian or German military governor. Romanov reformed the government, and tried to get the country more independent power and free from Italian influence. Nazi Germany helped that after the war because they wanted to dominate all of Europe eventually, and part of their plan was to loosen Italy's control of the Balkans. Croatia, Serbia, and Montenegro received more power.
The Independent State of Montenegro was proclaimed in May 1941, after the Axis invasion of Yugoslavia. King Emmanuel III of Italy offered the throne of Montenegro to Nicholas Romanov, a Russian royal in exile within Italy, and he reluctantly accepted. The new government was also known as the Kingdom of Montenegro. The monarch appointed ethnic Montenegrins to high ranking positions. The officers of the pro-Axis Royal Army were given high ranking government positions as well, by request of Germany. King Romanov used the Army to secure the borders, as both the Croatian fascist state in the north and the Albanian Kingdom in the south were planning on splitting the territory amongst themselves.
The Albanians and Croatians both infringed on Montenegrin borders, something which King Romanov worked hard to prevent. The Montenegrin Royal Army was raised to 80,000 men with the heavy usage of propaganda, and then had clashes with Albanians in the south. Romanov intended to use Montenegro as a state where Russians can go (as he knew of Hitler's plans for Russia) to be safe. Croatia also backed off after the Albanians did, though mainly out of Italian pressure. All three were considered protectorates of Italy, and the Italians did not want their protectorates at war with each other.
Loss of territory
During the Macedonian uprising led by Ivan Mihajlov, Montenegro lost territory to the newly formed Independent State of Macedonia.
The Independent State of Montenegro maintained a standing army of some 95,000 troops at its peak. It was mainly used for border guard and law enforcement purposes.