Josip Broz, known as Tito, was a Second World War Yugoslavian resistance leader and charismatic Socialist President of Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1943 to 1980.
A combination of pride, fear and jealousy had spurred Stalin to attempt to have Tito killed – and no less than 22 assassination attempts had been made in the years after the war.
Tito, tired of Stalin’s attempts to assassinate him, openly wrote: “Stop sending people to kill me! We’ve already captured five of them, one of them with a bomb and another with a rifle… If you don’t stop sending killers, I’ll send a very fast working one to Moscow and I certainly won’t have to send another.” This was certainly the most badass and coolest line in History.
Ironically enough, Stalin’s death – either by natural causes or at the hands of a Tito assassin – was largely his own doing.
He ruled with such ruthlessness – executing anyone who stood in his way or defied his orders – that even his own security team was effectively paralysed with fear.
In 1955 when Nikita Khrushchev visited Belgrade, he apologised to Tito for Stalin’s assassination attempts, and congratulated him on his survival.
He said: ‘You did well in protecting yourself. You had good guards and good informants who informed you about everything Stalin was planning for you.’
Tito responded: ‘Stalin knew that I was very well guarded. After many warnings that it was enough sending assassins, he evidently got a bit scared.’