A former state in the Balkans, now part of Yugoslavia. Serbia was a powerful kingdom until its conquest by the Turks in 1389. Serbia gained autonomy in 1829 and independence in 1878. Serbia assumed leadership of the movement to unite the southern Slavs in the early 20th century, especially after the defeat of Turkey during the Balkan Wars (1912-13). The assassination of the heir to the Austro-Hungarian crown by a Serbian nationalist in 1914 led to an Austro-Hungarian declaration of war on Serbia, which escalated into World War I. By the end of 1915, Serbia was occupied by German, Austrian and Bulgarian forces, while the Serbian government and army retired to Corfu. Another 42 stamps were overprinted for use during this period. With the collapse of Austria-Hungary in the autumn of 1918, Serbia became the nucleus of the Yugoslav state. The Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes was established on Dec. 1, 1918, under the Serbian monarchy. In 1929 the state was renamed Yugoslavia. During 1941-44, Serbia was recreated as a German puppet state. An additional 126 stamps were issued during the war years.
SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO