Josip Broz served with the Austrian infantry in the First World War and was captured by Russian forces in the Carpathians in 1915. By the summer of 1917 he had escaped and joined the revolutionaries in Petrograd. After returning to Yugoslavia, he was jailed for six years for his membership of the illegal Yugoslav Communist Party.
He became General Secretary of the Communists from the summer of 1937 onwards. ‘Tito’ as he was then known came to Belgrade a few weeks after the German invasion in 1941. He then made his way to southern Serbia at the end of June to lead the Partisans in their resistance against the invaders. He narrowly escaped death or capture in a German airborne attack on his headquarters in May 1944. At the end of the war he became head of a new federal government in Yugoslavia.